Monday, January 17, 2011


"Physician-Assisted Suicide or Death with Dignity? Music Lessons from Symphony Halls and Opera Houses" 

Western Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper

ARTHUR G. SVENSON, University of Redlands
ADAM SOLINGER, affiliation not provided to SSRN

In 2008, the State of Washington legalized the choice 'of certain terminally ill, competent adults . . . to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.' This initiative, modeled after Oregon's in 1997, speaks not of physician-assisted suicide (PAS), but death with dignity (DWD) since terminal patients hasten death despite a will to live. In leading legal and medical journals, and courts of law, however, the term suicide is ubiquitous. For many critics, PAS is not about dying at all but killing, a distinction, according to Giles Scofield, captured in the music by two giants of 20th Century: dying in Mahler appears in the resolution of his 9th Symphony, and killing in Schoenberg, in his A Survivor from Warsaw. In musical terms, then, the slippery slope attached to the legalization of PAS ends in Schoenberg's compositional nightmare. This paper, inspired by Scofield, examines portrayals of dying in classical music and opera. Without denying the terror in Schoenberg's Survivor, one wonders whether alternative conceptions of end-of-life events presented in concert halls and the opera houses credibly support the conclusion that DWD is not about Schoenberg's killing but Mahler's dying. While understandings of dying are surely informed by a number of powerful sources - e.g., history, philosophy, and religion, perhaps the ubiquitous reach of death with dignity qua suicide is not the cue that Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, or Britten have given. 


January 17, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 10, 2011


Charles Hillel Baron, Boston College - Law School

Thomas Alured Faunce, Australian National University, Australian Research Council
Alexandra McEwan, Australian National University (ANU) - College of Law

Arthur G. Svenson, University of Redlands
Adam Solinger, affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Orentlicher, University of Iowa College of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis

Anup Malani, University of Chicago - Law School, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Resources for the Future, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Julian Reif, affiliation not provided to SSRN


January 10, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 3, 2011

December Issue of Bifocal

Attached is the December 2010 issue of Bifocal, Journal of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging. Link to:

In this issue:

- What Is Quality in Elder Care Mediation and Why Should Elder Law Advocates Care? (by Ellie Crosby Lanier) 15

- Why a Client's Status As a Veteran Should Be an Important Component of Your Planning (by Felicia Pasculli) 21

- CLE Webinar: A Closer Look at the Veterans Administration Schedule for Rating Disabilities 21

- Military Service and the Law (CLE DVD/book review by David Godfrey) 23

- Start Planning Now for Law Day 2011!

- Updated Resources on the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (by Erica Wood) 25

- Highlights of 9th Annual National Aging and Law Conference (by Jamie Philpotts) 26

- CLE Webinar: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Medicare in 2011

- Tues., Jan. 18, 2011, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST (12:00 p.m. Central; 11:00 a.m. Mountain; and 10:00 a.m. Pacific)

- Register Today! Online at:

- Special Discount Rate of $75 for Legal Aid and Gov't Lawyers!

 The ABA Commission on Law and Aging distributes Bifocal six times a year to elder bar section and committee officers and members, legal services providers, elder law and other private practitioners, judges, court staff, advocates, policymakers, law schools and elder law clinics, law libraries, and other professionals in the law and aging networks.

To subscribe or to submit news or a manuscript for consideration, e-mail Jamie Philpotts at Include the word "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject heading.

January 3, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)