Handling the End-of-Life Between Institutions and the Individual
Many factors are involved in defining the changes within the field of death and dying: innovations in medical knowledge and practice; changes in health institutions, family structures and everyday life practices; the pluralism of beliefs and religious affiliations.
A new dimension is represented by the emergence of the legitimacy accorded to the individual's decisions in choosing how to handle his end of life. This is no small thing, and, in fact, it has led to the opening of a rather heated debate in the public space.
The paper examines some recent cases in order to identify the knotty problems around which the change develops, oppositions are articulated, and instable compromises are reached.