Death And The Meanings Of Death : Sociological Inquiries Essay

1565 Words Dec 8th, 2016 7 Pages
Death and Legal Considerations
“Death is both inevitable and irreversible. It is the one personal event that the individual can never report.”(Riley, 1983 p.192) Riley states in his Sociology Review Article, “Dying and the meanings of Death: Sociological Inquiries.” If I was forced to make an end of life decision I feel it would highly depend on the individual circumstance. In this paper for my final project I will look at problems that arise with end of life decisions, look at legal cases and how they approached the problems and present my decision based on specific circumstance. First, I will address problems that can arise in the end of life situation, as Riley states, “The remarkable decline in mortality is one of the most striking features of the social history of the past century (Riley, 1983 p.192).”… “As medical advances allow increasing control over the time of death, and as the legal and medical professions take over much of their control sociologist are concerning themselves the ‘rights’ of patient to refuse treatment(Riley 1983, p.208).” This brings the area of legal and ethical problems to the forefront. One problem is what the definition of death is, each state has its own legal definition, as well as the medical community, and they may not completely agree. Another problem is the lack of legal preparation on the part of the patient. Another problem in some end of life decisions has been the pregnancy of the patient, another serious problem is what if the…

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