This book alerts readers to the fact that in contemporary Western societies, there is both increasing support for, and increasing practice of, “deathmakings” of many classes of devalued people.
These classes include the unwanted unborn and newborns, those of any age who are severely impaired, the sick elderly, the chronically and terminally ill, the dependent poor, the homeless, and the imprisoned.
The book explains that there are both direct forms of deathmaking such as intentional violence, medicalized abortions, the administration of poison (as in some secret killings in hospitals), etc.; but also indirect forms, such as denying people access to needed health care, separating people from family and other community which leaves them without help and protectors, imposing a dead or dying role on people, and doing things which destroy a person’s will to live.
Many of these forms of deathmaking are disguised and “detoxified.” After explaining all these things, the book calls on readers to take action to combat this deathmaking, and to protect the lives of vulnerable people.
by Wolf Wolfensberger (1987)