The borders between life and death are blurrier than ever, thanks to years of ambiguity about the status of the fetus. At the other end of the spectrum, the elderly are done away with as a nod towards 'quality of life'. Assisted suicide, infanticide and euthanasia are just a few of the ways this medical ethic is displayed, an ethic that contradicts the Hippocratic oath and reduces human life to a number that can be outweighed by factors including pain management, money and convenience. By making human life a commodity, we dehumanize those who most need our help and care.
Dr. John Ling has been outspoken about these issues of death and dying for over two decades, and in the follow-up to book Responding to the Culture of Death he addresses these questions and more, all the while standing up for those who cannot defend themselves; the very young, the very old and the very ill. By presenting these issues, Ling gives us the information we need to make decisions for those we care about in these situations and to let others know how we want to be treated as our lives near their inevitable conclusion.