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Death duty - caring for the dead in the context of disaster

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simon WoodsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


An important duty for any society is to manage the deaths of its members. In most cases there are highly evolved social and cultural traditions, alongside civic procedures which render this management routine. It is only when something out of the ordinary occurs, an air accident, a tsunami, an earthquake or some other cause of multiple fatalities that the underlying moral and evaluative framework is starkly exposed. This paper begins by examining critically some of the current bioethical arguments concerning the nature of responsibility toward the dead and the implications this has for managing the dead: the "Epicurean Model." The paper moves from a critique of this model to a consideration of an alternative ethical approach to caring for the dead in the context of disaster management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Woods S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Genetics and Society

Year: 2014

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 333-347

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Online publication date: 05/09/2014

Acceptance date: 27/05/2014

Date deposited: 11/12/2014

ISSN (print): 1463-6778

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9915

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14636778.2014.944260


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