Drawing on extensive data including news media reports and commentaries, documentaries, courts and court reports, films, websites, professional literature and government and non-government agencies, this book explores the 'Alzheimerisation' of the euthanasia debate, examining the shift in recent years in public attitudes towards the desirability and moral permissibility of euthanasia as an end-of-life 'solution' for people living with the disease - not just at its end stage, but also at earlier stages. With attention to media representations and public understandings of Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Media Representations and the Politics of Euthanasia sheds light on the processes contributing to these changes in public opinion, investigating the drivers of vexed political debate surrounding the issue and examining the manner in which both sides of the euthanasia debate mobilise support, portray their opponents and make use of media technologies to frame the terms of discourse. Paving the way for a greater level of intellectual honesty with regard to an issue carrying significant policy implications, this book will be of interest to scholars of media and communication, social movements and political communication, and the sociology of health and medicine, as well as researchers and professionals in the fields of palliative and end of life care.
’This is by far and away the most engaging and compelling discussion of the politics of euthanasia as it has converged on the lives of the most deeply forgetful, whose morally protected status under the principle of "do no harm" is regularly undermined by sweeping negative generalizations in media and politics about their experiences. The idea that their lives mean so little is popularized by 'hypercognitive' and "hypereconomic" outsiders who not only fail to understand the experience of dementia, but who use the deeply forgetful as convenient pawns in their political-ideological games. Here we finally have a book that reclaims dignity.’ Stephen G. Post, Stony Brook University, New York ’This book demonstrates how perceptions of dementia have changed. Alzheimer’s disease in particular is presented as a terrifying calamity with pre-emptive euthanasia as ultimate remedy. Portraying this disease as worse than death fuels an ideological crusade to promote ending life as a treatment option. It is time to stop this pro-death propaganda. Dr. Johnstone provides the arguments and strategies.’ Henk ten Have, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA 'Considering the emotionally charged and rather specialized topic, the text may be suited to mental health practitioners working with older adults, particularly those concerned with end-of-life care. Professionals with a distinct interest in normative, media or linguistic issues may find it equally attractive. ... Megan-Jayne Johnstone provides a valuable perspective onto potential broadcasting biases an important ethical issue of our times.' Journal of Mental Health 'For those interested in understanding the current debate and enhancing their ability to critique, implement and create subsequently related policies, it is likely that this book will be of great help. ... this book will be an excellent addition to the library of academics, students, doctors, clinicians and caregivers.' Critical Social Policy 'This is an exce