When the Schiavo case burst onto the national scene, most of us assumed that everyone would see the case as we did. But instead, Schiavo showed that U.S. pluralism was alive and well in decisions about life-sustaining treatment. Schiavo demonstrated, too, that at least some of this pluralism reflects misguided myths about human life and death. In this essay, I examine the myths that Schiavo exposed. One such myth is that death with dignity is easily attainable in modern America, as long as people make living wills. Another myth is that only patients themselves are permitted to take quality of life into account when deciding about life-sustaining interventions. A third myth is that research advances are bringing an end to the difficulties of aging. To examine the myths, I draw on public commentary about Schiavo and on four texts published in 2005, when the case was in the headlines.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,856
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #509,760 of 2,401,730 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #551,964 of 2,401,730 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes