Most discussions of medical and practical ethics have avoided direct confrontation with the query: what is the value and meaning of human life? The book addresses these issues directly, examining the variety of philosophical questions in the area, their meaningfulness and the paradoxes suggested by answers to those questions. Each chapter is an attempt to identify and correct the biases and confusions in such discussions. Specific areas considered are: relations to animals; the status of the human species; utilitarian and non-utilitarian arguments; religious answers to the question "why is life sacred and worthwhile?"; the meaning of death; the influence of science.