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Beschreibung des Verlags
The standard model for end-of-life decision-making gives roles to two parties--the physician, who explains the medical options, and the patient, who selects from among those options. The model can be harmful not only for individuals but also for the state, if the patient's right to control her own choices is understood as a positive right of access to whatever is available. Susan Sontag's death was difficult: difficult for her because she fought it to a bitter end in a treatment regime that inflicted considerable physical and mental suffering on her, and difficult, too, for her son, David Rieff, as he testified in a sober and affecting memoir of his mother's death. (1) By Rieff's account, he was agonized by his inability or his refusal (he was never sure how to characterize his failure) to tell his mother the truth about his own evaluation of her grim prognosis, the utter futility of her desperate medical treatments at the end, and the burdens inflicted by those treatments on her and on him.