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'Requested death': a new social movement


McInerney, F, 'Requested death': a new social movement, Social Science & Medicine, 50, (1) pp. 137-154. ISSN 0277-9536 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0277-936(99)00273-7


This paper addresses current developments in the right-to-die arena. While discussion of this area has traditionally been the province of disciplines other than sociology, including philosophy and bioethics, this paper offers an alternative framework from which to consider the progressive interest in control and choice at life's end which has developed this century, principally in the Western world. Taking a largely socio-historical approach, this paper argues that issues such as euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide can be seen as forming part of an international social movement, which is dubbed 'the requested death movement'. The paper traces the chronology of the movement, placing its framing activities, the emergence of individual activists and events and its progressive mobilization, within a consideration of so-called 'new' social movements, which have emerged since the 1960s. These are principally concerned with resisting state control of cultural matters, while reclaiming matters of identity, privacy and individual corporeality, which it is argued are at the core of the requested death movement. It is posited that this consideration can contribute to understandings of both the contemporary social organization of death and dying, and social movement theory more generally.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Medical ethics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Social structure and health
UTAS Author:McInerney, F (Professor Fran McInerney)
ID Code:17879
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2017-12-08

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