Recent advances in medical technology have greatly increased physicians' ability to prolong life and have provoked widespread public concern regarding the rights of individuals to refuse treatment. "The Right to Die" analyzes the right to die as a controversial social and political issue and examines its development in contemporary public policy. Opening with a detailed acount of the recent Nancy Cruzan case, the book tells the story of how political activity concerning the right to die evolved from a fringe phenomenon in the 1940s to an important social concern in the '60s and '70s to the present, when the right to die has become a provocative topic of law and policy across the country. Glick assesses the growing media attention and public opinion factions, as well as contemporary decision-making by state courts, legislatures, and governors in all fifty states, in addition to the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress. Intensive case studies of policy making in California, Massachusetts, and Florida illustrate the important variations that have developed as laws are enacted by each state, with very different consequences for its citizens.