“One in every five Americans now lives in a state with legal access to a medically assisted death. In theory, assisted dying laws allow patients with a terminal prognosis to hasten the end of their life, once their suffering has overcome any desire to live. While these laws may make the process of dying less painful for some, they don’t make it easier. Of the countries that have aid-in-dying laws, the U.S. has the most restrictive. Intended to reduce unnecessary suffering, the laws can sometimes have the opposite effect.”
Read the full Conversation op-ed here.
“No matter where you stand on the right to die, the recent New York Times feature on Marieke Vervoort’s life or death decision likely touched a chord. After years of blinding pain brought on by a degenerative muscle disease, the Paralympic Belgian medalist opted for a medically assisted death. Though Vervoort’s struggles transcend borders, her ability to die this way does not.”
Read the full Cognoscenti op-ed here.
On October 29-30, 2019, Anita Hannig delivered two lectures as part of her appointment as Harry Lyman Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her first talk, “Science and Sanctity,” took place in the Department of Religious Studies. She delivered the second talk, “The Art of Dying,” in the Medical School. More details can be found here.
USA TODAY interviewed Anita Hannig for an article that discusses different cultural expectations around sharing someone’s terminal prognosis. “There’s this idea of ‘filial debt,’ that you owe your mother and father for taking care of you all your life, so when that person gets sick, the family steps up to take care of them,” Hannig says. “These decisions (about health care) then become distributed among the family, and the idea of autonomy gets shifted over to the relatives.” Read the full article here.
Ten years after the landmark Baxter v. Montana decision, the School of Law at the University of Montana convened a symposium on aid-in-dying, featuring the original plaintiffs and one of Baxter’s daughters. Judge Nelson, one of the Montana Supreme Court judges, gave the keynote address.
Cultural Anthropology interviews Anita Hannig on how religion, ethics, and gender dynamics intersect with issues of medical aid-in-dying in the United States. They also talk about some pedagogical strategies for teaching death and dying to college students. Read the full interview here.
Anita Hannig appears on this episode of Flash Forward, a podcast about the future hosted by Rose Eveleth. Check out the episode on Ghostbots here. “Today we travel to a future where dying isn’t the end. What if you could live on as a simulation? A bot that knows everything you’ve ever said, and can pretend to be you?”
On Halloween, Anita Hannig is quoted in this Washington Post article on how a genuine engagement with death and mortality has all but disappeared from our modern iteration of this holiday.