Medical technology has helped mankind conquer tuberculosis, polio, and countless other once certain-death diseases. It has given us hope against cancer and AIDS, allowed heart and brain surgeries that have saved untold numbers of lives, and delivered us from the pain and crippling legacy of injury. Medical technology, it seems, is a never-ending string of miracles. But it is also a double-edged sword. More often than not, death today happens because of a decision to stop doing something, or to not do it at all. As the tragic life and death of Terri Schiavo so poignantly illustrated, universal definitions of life, death, nature, and many other concepts are elusive at best. Unplugged addresses the fundamental questions of the right-to-die debate, and discusses how the medical advances that bring so much hope and healing have also helped to create today's dilemma.
This compelling book explores recent high-profile cases, including that of Mrs. Schiavo, and illuminates the complex legal, ethical, medical, and deeply personal issues of a debate that ultimately affects us all. Compassionate and beautifully written, the book helps readers understand the implications of current laws and proposed legislation, various medical options (including hospice), and the typical end-of-life decisions we all must face in order to make informed decisions for ourselves and our loved ones....Continua