July 4, 1826
July 4, 1826
Explaining the Same-Day Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (and What Could This Mean for Bioethics?)
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively the second and third presidents of the new United States of America, died on the same day, July 4, 1826. Both were old men and ill. What could explain this and what would the implications be for reflection in bioethics about the end of life? There are at least six principal avenues to explore, but all of them raise further issues: coincidence, divine intervention, “hanging on”, being allowed or caused to die by others (intervention by physician or family), allowing oneself to die, and causing oneself to die. All six possibilities these explanations raise are central to the very questions about death and dying that are so controversial today, almost two hundred years after the deaths of Adams and Jefferson, as disputes over withdrawing and withholding treatment, allowing to die, the overuse of morphine, terminal sedation, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia play huge roles in friction over modern medicine.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.