Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics

Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics

by Peter Singer

Hardcover(1st U.S. ed)

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Overview

Shows why our traditional ethic of life & death is collapsing all around us. Singer sees it as an opportunity to move forward to a more soundly based approach. In discussing themes like euthanasia, brain death, abortion, & the treatment of patients in a persistent vegetative state, he discards meaningless clichs about the sanctity of human life. Instead he produces a fresh account of when life should be regarded as precious & worth preserving, & when it should not be. Using case studies, he vividly describes the breakup of our current ethic of life & death, & provides a profound reexamination of the ethics that govern how we live & how we die.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312118808
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/28/1995
Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.43(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Peter Singer teaches at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. One of founding fathers of the Animal Rights Movement, he is the author of the bestselling Animal Liberation.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1(6)
PART I: Doubtful Endings 7(74)
Birth After Death
An American story
9(3)
A German story
12(4)
Our choice
16(4)
How Death was Redefined
Pink, supple...and dead
20(2)
'The burden is great': The Harvard committee on the determination of death
22(6)
A revolution without opposition
28(4)
Brain death: Who believes it?
32(3)
An unstable compromise
35(3)
Dr Shann's Dilemma
Two babies
38(4)
Breathing but dead?
42(4)
The case for a higher brain definition of death
46(4)
Against brain death
50(4)
A way forward?
54(3)
Tony Bland and the Sanctity of Human Life
Fine phrases
57(1)
Tony Bland's tragedy
57(8)
Deciding on the basis of quality of life
65(3)
Lawfully intending to end innocent human life
68(2)
Discarding a fig leaf
70(3)
Beyond the sanctity of human life
73(2)
Acts and omissions
75(6)
PART II: Crumbling at the Edges 81(104)
Uncertain Beginnings
Peggy Stinson's puzzle
83(2)
The unavoidable issue
85(5)
The era of legal abortion
90(3)
New reproductive technology and the abortion debate
93(7)
Unlocking the abortion deadlock
100(6)
Making Quality of Life Judgements
How the Reagan administration chose a quality of life ethic
106(9)
Treating to die
115(13)
Selective non-treatment and infanticide
128(4)
Asking for Death
The problem
132(9)
The solution?
141(2)
How voluntary euthanasia became possible in the Netherlands
143(4)
The coming struggle for the right to die
147(3)
Sliding down a slippery slope?
150(7)
Breaking the commandment
157(2)
Beyond the Discontinuous Mind
An unusual institution
159(4)
Whose organs may we take?
163(2)
In God's image and at the centre of the universe
165(4)
The western tradition under attack
169(3)
Who is Homo?
172(8)
Who is a person?
180(5)
PART III: Towards a Coherent Approach 185(38)
In Place of the old Ethic
The structure of ethical revolutions
187(2)
Rewriting the commandments
189(17)
Some answers
206(13)
The basis of the new approach to life and death
219(4)
Notes 223(15)
Bibliography 238(9)
Index 247

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