Medical advances prolong life. They also sometimes prolong suffering. Should we protect life or alleviate suffering? This dilemma formed the foundation for a powerful right-to-die movement and a counterbalancing concern over an emerging culture of death. What are the qualities of a life worth living? Where are the boundaries of tolerable suffering? This book is based on a hugely popular undergraduate course taught at the University of Texas, and is ideal for those interested in the social construction of social worth, social problems, and social movements.