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Confronting Death: Who Chooses? Who Controls? A Dialogue between Dax Cowart and Robert Burt

By Robert A Burt

Abstract

On 21 November 1996, Dax Cowart and Robert Burt jointly delivered the Heather Koller Memorial Lecture at Pacific Lutheran University. This was the first time that they spoke together in a public forum. Dax Cowart now lives and practices law in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the summer of 1973, he was critically injured in a propane gas explosion that took his father\u27s life and very deeply burned more than two-thirds of his own body. He was left blind and without the use of his hands. For more than a year Dax underwent extraordinarily painful treatments in the acute burn ward of two hospitals. Throughout his ordeal he demanded to die by refusing consent to his disinfectant treatments. Despite repeated declarations of competence by his psychiatrist, all his pleas were rejected. In 1974, while still hospitalized, he helped make the famous \u22Please Let Me Die\u22 video, and in 1984 a second video, \u22Dax\u27s Case.\u22 In 1986 Dax Cowart received a law degree from Texas Tech Universit

Topics: Law, Medical Jurisprudence
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:fss_papers-1702
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