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Empty Husks: Age, Disability, Care, Death, and Amour

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Therapy and Emotions in Film and Television
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Abstract

In August 2014, Gillian Bennett, an 83-year-old with dementia, deliberately ingested a lethal drug. She posted a ‘right-to-die manifesto’ on her blog1 ‘deadatnoon’ just prior to her suicide, explaining that she didn’t want to become an ‘empty husk’, ‘a vegetable’, a living ‘carcass’, who would needlessly in her view cost tens of thousands of dollars ‘eating up the country’s money but not having the faintest idea who I am’ (‘Goodbye’, 2014). In stark contrast, David Hilfiker,2 a 69-year-old retired physician, describes the time since his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease as ‘one of the happiest periods in my life’ (‘About’, 2014).

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© 2015 Sally Chivers

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Chivers, S. (2015). Empty Husks: Age, Disability, Care, Death, and Amour. In: Wassmann, C. (eds) Therapy and Emotions in Film and Television. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137546821_5

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