Emmanuel Levinas and the face of Terri Schiavo: bioethical and phenomenological reflections on a private tragedy and public spectacle
- Michael D. Dahnke
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The controversial case of Terri Schiavo came to a close on March 31, 2005, with her death following the removal of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube. This event followed years of controversy and social upheaval. Voices from across the entire political and cultural spectrums filled the airwaves and op-ed pages of major newspapers. Protests ensued outside of Ms. Schiavo’s care facility. Ms. Schiavo’s parents published videos of their daughter on the internet in an effort to prove that she was not in a vegetative state and could potentially recover. There is a certain mystery to the entire controversy given the fact that, legally, it was largely a matter of settled law. Precedent cases and legal statutes clearly set out the proper procedures and decisions to be followed in this case. Nonetheless, powerful challenges and virulent opposition to these standards arose. Through an investigation of this case as well as a comparative study of the case of Dax Cowart (in particular, the documentary depictions of Dax Cowart’s case) and of a photograph by Joel-Peter Witkin, I plan to investigate the source of these social upheavals and hypothesize that they were largely the result of a phenomenological reaction to the human face.
- Lingis, Alphonso. 1994. Foreign bodies. New York, London: Routledge.
- Levinas, Emmanuel. 1969. Totality and infinity. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
- Annas, George. 2006. “Culture of life” politics at the bedside—the case of Terri Schiavo. In Ethical health care, eds. Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet, 103–109. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Derrida, Jacques. 1978. Writing and difference. Trans. Alan Bass. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Critchley, Simon. 1992. The ethics of deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Burggraeve, Roger. 1999. Violence and the vulnerable face of the other: The vision of Emmanuel Levinas on moral evil and our responsibility. Journal of Social Philosophy 30: 29–45. CrossRef
- Ziarek, Ewa Pƚonowska. 2001. An ethics of dissensus: Postmodernity, feminism, and the politics of radical democracy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Waldenfels, Bernhard. 2002. Levinas and the face of the other. In The Cambridge companion to Levinas, eds. Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi, 63–81. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Lingis, Alphonso. 1994. The community of those who have nothing in common. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
- Rachels, James. 1975. Active and passive euthanasia. New England Journal of Medicine 292: 78–80. CrossRef
- Jones, Therese. 2004. The medium is the message: Documenting the story of Dax Cowart. In Cultural sutures: Medicine and media, ed. L.D. Friedman, 315–330. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
- Schwenger, Peter. 2000. Corpsing the image. Critical Inquiry 26: 395–413. CrossRef
- Kristeva, Julia. 2012. The severed head. Trans. Jody Gladding. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of horror: An essay on abjection. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Kristeva, Julia. 1991. Strangers to ourselves. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Kristeva, Julia. 1993. Nations without nationalism. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Caputo, Jacques. 1993. Against ethics: Contributions to a poetics of obligation with constant reference to deconstruction. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
- Emmanuel Levinas and the face of Terri Schiavo: bioethical and phenomenological reflections on a private tragedy and public spectacle
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Volume 33, Issue 6 , pp 405-420
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- End of life
- Emmanuel Levinas
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Health Administration, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, 1501 Cherry Street, Room 111, Friends Center, Philadelphia, PA, 19102, USA