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At Liberty to Die – The Battle for Death with Dignity in America - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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At Liberty to Die: The Battle for Death with Dignity in America

Howard Ball


Over the past hundred years, average life expectancy in America has nearly doubled. Yet while longevity is celebrated as an achievement in modern civilization, the longer people live, the more likely they are to succumb to chronic, terminal illnesses. In 1900, the average life expectancy was forty-seven years, with a majority of American deaths attributed to influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, or other diseases. In 2000, the average life expectancy was nearly eighty years, and for too many people, these long lifespans included cancer, heart failure, Lou Gehrig's disease, AIDS, or other fatal i ... More

Keywords: life expectancy, terminal illness, terminally ill, right to die, Terry Schiavo, religion, civil liberties, longevity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780814791042
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814791042.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Howard Ball, author