Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death

Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death

By Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Subjects: Asian Religion And Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791468326, 280 pages, July 2006
Hardcover : 9780791468319, 280 pages, July 2006

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Understanding Death and Impermanence
3. Understanding the Nature of Consciousness
4. Contemplating Self and No-self
5. Foundations of Buddhist Ethics
6. Death and Enlightenment in Tibet
7. The Transition Between Life and Death
8. The Ethical Urgency of Death
9. Extending Life and Hastening Death
10. Buddhism and Genetic Engineering
11 Bioethics in a Rapidly Changing World

A fascinating look at Buddhist, especially Tibetan, views of death and their implications for a Buddhist bioethics.


This book explores the Buddhist view of death and its implications for contemporary bioethics. Writing primarily from within the Tibetan tradition, author Karma Lekshe Tsomo discusses Buddhist notions of human consciousness and personal identity and how these figure in the Buddhist view of death. Beliefs about death and enlightenment and states between life and death are also discussed. Tsomo goes on to examine such hot-button topics as cloning, abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, organ donation, genetic engineering, and stem-cell research within a Buddhist context, introducing new ways of thinking about these highly controversial issues.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo is Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She is the editor of Buddhist Women and Social Justice: Ideals, Challenges, and Achievements and Buddhist Women Across Cultures: Realizations, and the author of Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women, all published by SUNY Press.