The Maintenance of Life: Euthanasia and Other Policy Lessons from The Netherlands
Presenter: Frances Norwood, PhD
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Sumner School, 7:00 pm
Dinner, Beacon Bar and Grill, 5:30 pm
Dr. Frances Norwood’s book, The Maintenance of Life: Preventing Social Death through Euthanasia Talk and End-of-Life Care – Lessons from The Netherlands,” (2009), was recently selected to receive the 2011 Margaret Mead Award. The Margaret Mead Award is presented to a younger scholar for a particular accomplishment such as a book, film, monograph, or service, which interprets anthropological data and principles in ways that make them meaningful and accessible to a broadly concerned public. Past recipients of the Margaret Mead Award have included Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Alex Stepick, Paul Farmer, Susan Scrimshaw, Philippe Bourgois, and Leo Chavez.
Dr. Norwood will talk about her work, presenting what has developed in one present-day society to address social death and modern dying. The book is based on a 15-month ethnography of home death in The Netherlands and develops from two important study findings: (1) that euthanasia in practice is predominantly a discussion, which only rarely culminates in a euthanasia death; and (2) that euthanasia talk in many ways serves a palliative function, staving off social death by providing participants with a venue for processing meaning, giving voice to suffering, and reaffirming social bonds and self-identity at the end of Dutch life. Her talk will highlight findings from her book and end with a discussion of health care reform in the U.S.
Frances Norwood, PhD, is a medical anthropologist with interests in disability and aging, spirituality, health policy, long term and end-of-life care. She is currently Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University Department of Anthropology and Director of Research at Inclusion Research Institute in Washington, DC.
The Maintenance of Life (2009) is currently available in English and in French. Click on images below for more information.
Meeting: 7:00 pm, Charles Sumner School, corner of 17th St and M St NW, Washington, DC
How to get there: The Sumner School is located at 1201 17th St NW (corner of 17th St and M St NW). The entrance to the meeting area is on 17th St under the black metal stairway. Directions from Metro Red Line: From Farragut North station, take either L St exit, walk one block east to 17th St, turn left and walk 2 blocks north.
Dinner: 5:30 pm, Beacon Bar & Grill (one block north of Sumner School). All are welcome.
How to get there: The Beacon Bar & Grill is in the Beacon Hotel located at 1615 Rhode Island Ave NW (corner of Rhode Island and 17th St). Directions from Metro Red Line: From DuPont Circle station, take the south/P St exit, then walk 2 blocks southeast on Massachusetts Ave to 17th St. Cross 17th St and turn right (south) for two short blocks. From Farragut North station, take either L St exit, walk one block east to 17th St, turn left and walk 3 blocks north.