Almost Over: Almost Over: Aging, Dying, Dead

ISBN : 9780190097158

F. M. Kamm
336 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In Almost Over, F. M. Kamm presents a wide-ranging philosophical discussion of the moral, legal, and medical issues related to aging, dying, and death. She begins by considering different views about whether and why death is bad for the person who dies and what these views imply about the death of humanity. She then considers whether there are conditions under which it might make sense to deliberately bring a person's death about, given the processes of aging and dying that precede it. In the opinion of some it is not only serious illness but ordinary aging that may give rise to this question and Kamm pays particular attention to the various ways in which aging could affect the distribution of "goods" and "bads" in a particular life. Specifically, she considers how the limitations and changes due to aging and the dying process affect meaning in one's life, and whether the absence of meaning affects the reasonableness of not resisting or even seeking one's death. Kamm explores these questions not only as they relate to individuals' decisions but also as they relate to public policy and state action. Recently attempts have been made to help the general public think about end-of-life issues by devising questionnaires and conversation guides; Kamm evaluates some of these resources and articulates the moral implications of the assumptions they make about aging, dying, and value. She also takes up the issue of physician-assisted suicide as a way of ending one's life, considering its moral permissibility and whether or not it ought to be legalized as a matter of public policy. In doing so, she examines arguments from discussions about capital punishment concerning state action and also methods of balancing costs and benefits (including cost effectiveness analysis). In her analysis, Kamm engages with the views of such prominent philosophers, medical doctors, and legal theorists as Shelly Kagan, Susan Wolf, Atul Gawande, Ezekiel Emanual, and Neil Gorsuch, among others, shedding new light on conversations about the moral complexities and consequences of aging, dying, and death.


Chapter 1: The Badness of Death and What to Do About It (If Anything)
Chapter 2: The Purpose of My Death: Kagan on the Worth of Living On
Chapter 3: Death, Dying, and Meaning: Gawande on Choosing How to Die
Chapter 4: Advanced and End of Life Care: Some Cautionary Suggestions
Chapter 5: Direction and Distribution in Life: Lessons from Benjamin Button
Chapter 6: Death Wish: Beyond End of Life Care
Chapter 7: Five Easy Arguments for Assisted Suicide and Objections of Velleman and Gorsuch
Chapter 8: Death and the State: Public Policy of Suicide, Assisted Suicide, and Capital Punishment
Appendix: Cost of Effectiveness Analysis and Fairness


F. M. Kamm is Henry Rutgers University Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Previously she has been Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Medicine (Bioethics), and Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University; she was also Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, Professor of Philosophy, and Law School Affiliated Faculty at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous articles on normative ethical theory and practical ethics as well as the author of such books as Creation and Abortion (OUP 1992), Morality, Mortality, vols. 1 and 2 (OUP 1993, 1996), Intricate Ethics (OUP 2007), Ethics for Enemies (OUP 2011), Bioethical Prescriptions (OUP 2013), and The Trolley Problem Mysteries (OUP 2015). She serves on the editorial boards of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, and the Journal of Moral Philosophy. She has received NEH, AAUW, and Guggenheim Fellowships.