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Death and the body beautiful: Aesthetics and embodiment in press portrayals of requested death in Australia on the edge of the 21st century

Citation

McInerney, F, Death and the body beautiful: Aesthetics and embodiment in press portrayals of requested death in Australia on the edge of the 21st century, Health Sociology Review, 16 pp. 384-396. ISSN 1446-1242 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5172/hesr.2007.16.5.384

Abstract

This paper develops discourse analysis of Australian press representations of dying during the operation of the Northern Territory of Australia's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (McInerney 2006). Operating in tandem, the discourses of aesthetics and embodiment constructed contemporary dying as an intolerable corporeal state. The body in disarray is attractive to media imperatives of drama and crisis, and dominated press reports during the analysed period. Such images functioned as absolute justification for a medicallyinduced requested death. Modern equating of physical integrity and personal dignity supports such responses to dying. The requested death interventions of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide were depicted as halting the physical deteriorations associated with terminal illness and thereby redeeming the dying person, by providing them with the opportunity to reclaim the social status lost via their progressive corporeal decline.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sociology, requested death, media, discourse analysis, aesthetics, embodiment
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Other Medical and Health Sciences
Research Field:Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
Author:McInerney, F (Professor Fran McInerney)
ID Code:95491
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-10-02
Last Modified:2014-10-02
Downloads:0

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