Westwood, SL (2017) Older Lesbians, Gay Men and the ‘Right to Die’ debate - ‘I always keep a lethal dose of something, because I don’t want to become an elderly isolated person.'. Social and Legal Studies, 26 (5). pp. 606-628. ISSN 1461-7390

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This article considers the ‘right to die’ debate from the perspectives of older lesbians and gay men, drawing upon data gathered for a PhD in law. My argument is that older lesbians and gay men are multiply disadvantaged (a) by an increased risk of feeling that life is not worth living due to affective inequalities (inadequate informal and formal social support) and (b) by a denial of access to the right to die both under such circumstances and/or if they wish to resist the normativities associated with a passive, medicalized death. I argue for the need to distinguish between a wish to die because of deficiencies in the care system and a wish to die in order to control how, when and where one’s life ends. My analysis highlights the contextual contingencies of ‘vulnerability’ in relation to the right to die and interrogates the heterosexist and disciplinary reproductive normativities underpinning the notions of ‘natural’ deaths.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage Publications at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0964663917693916 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assisted dying, euthanasia, inequality, older lesbians and gay men, ‘right to die’, vulnerability
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1050 Aged. Gerontology (Social aspects). Retirement
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ75 Homosexuality. Lesbianism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 09:26
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 09:38
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/3118

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