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Ending Midlife BiasNew Values for Old Age$
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Nancy S. Jecker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190949075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190949075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 July 2021

The Dying, the Newly Dead, and the Long Gone

The Dying, the Newly Dead, and the Long Gone

(p.275) 10 The Dying, the Newly Dead, and the Long Gone
Ending Midlife Bias

Nancy S. Jecker

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 takes a careful look at duties to the dying, the newly dead, and the long gone. Care of the dying and newly dead are urgent matters for aged societies, because older people die at higher rates than other age group. The chapter unpacks the slogan “Death with dignity” and asks what duties to respect the dignity of people near the end of life is required. It examines debates over physician-assisted death and rational suicide for healthy older people. It evaluates definitions of death, noting global variation, and proposes duties owed to the newly dead and long gone. Key concepts, such as narrative identity, help flesh out the idea of a “good death.” Borrowing from ethics and archeology literature, Chapter 10 introduces a systematic way to think about duties to the long gone, including human fossils with archeological significance and ancestors in native burial grounds.

Keywords:   definition of death, death with dignity, physician-assisted death, rational suicide, newly dead, duties to ancestors, native burial grounds, good death, narrative identity, ethics and archeology

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