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Sexualidad, Salud y Sociedad (Rio de Janeiro)

versão On-line ISSN 1984-6487


MENEZES, Rachel Aisengart. Euthanasia court claims and personhood: on the statute of tears. Sex., Salud Soc. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, n.9, pp.137-153. ISSN 1984-6487.

This article focuses on the contemporary notions of personhood, based on the examination of news articles on requests for legal authorization of euthanasia. The case of Christian Rossiter, left quadriplegic after being run over by a car, is discussed. On his claim - authorized by the Western Australia's Supreme Court in August 2009 - he stated that he was "unable to perform even the most basic human functions, such as wiping the tears from his face". Such request differs from others in which the argument focuses on pain and physical suffering, as with Chantal Sébire. The case examined in this study represents a formulation of personhood in which the sphere of emotions - and their control - is central. This article discusses the statute of tears in contemporary Western society, concerning gender differences,, and the extreme situations of life/death, when it is necessary to define the limits of a person's existence.

Palavras-chave : euthanasia; personhood; emotions; gender; suffering.

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