Despite a growing consensus that effective palliative care should be a core element in the treatment of all terminally ill patients, challenging questions remain about the physician's role in helping suffering patients end their lives. Physician-assisted dying remains one of the most controversial issues facing doctors, lawmakers, and patients today, and the need for intelligent and informed opinion on both sides of the debate is greater than ever.
In this volume, a distinguished group of physicians, ethicists, lawyers, and activists come together to present the case for the legalization of physician-assisted dying, for terminally ill patients who voluntarily request it. To counter the arguments and assumptions of those opposed to legalization of assisted suicide, the contributors examine ethical arguments concerning self-determination and the relief of suffering; analyze empirical data from Oregon and the Netherlands; describe their personal experiences as physicians, family members, and patients; assess the legal and ethical responsibilities of the physician; and discuss the role of pain, depression, faith, and dignity in this decision. Together, the essays in this volume present strong arguments for the ethical acceptance and legal recognition of the practice of physician-assisted dying as a last resort-not as an alternative to excellent palliative care but as an important possibility for patients who seek it.
Contributors: Marcia Angell, Anthony L. Back, Charles H. Baron, Andrew I. Batavia, Tom L. Beauchamp, Els Borst-Eilers, Dan W. Brock, Christine K. Cassel, Eric J. Cassel, Barbara Coombs-Lee, Linda Ganzini, Peter Goodwin, Martin Gunderson, Gerrit K. Kimsma, Sylvia A. Law, David Mayo, Alan Meisel, Robert A. Pearlman, Thomas Preston, John Shelby Spong, Helene Starks, Eli D. Stutsman, Kathryn L. Tucker, Johannes J. M. Van Delden, Herman H. van der Kloot Meijburg, Evert van Leeuwen, Jaap J. F. Visser
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
A very persuasive brief, combining empirical data, logical argumentation, and appeals to compassion. * JAMA *
An excellent addition to the debate surrounding physician-assisted suicide and choice at the end of life. Reading this book along with The Case Against Assisted Suicide (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) would provide a thorough grounding in this issue. * Doody's Book Review Service *
Readers who are interested in a balanced counterpoint highlighting the best arguments of advocates and opponents of the legalization of assisted suicide should read both Physician-Assisted Dying and Foley and Hendin's book. * New England Journal of Medicine *
This excellent book presents arguments supporting acceptance of physician-assisted death as an option for terminally ill patients who are suffering from extreme pain unrelieved by narcotics and whose only wish is to die. * Choice *
The collection is the indispensable starting place for anyone wishing to become better informed about the present arguments over physician-assisted dying (especially in the United States), and it belongs in every high school, university, and medical library in the country. * Humanist in Canada *
This is an excellent book for medical students, hospice personnel, and others involved in end-of-life care. * American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine *
An important contribution to the debate as to whether the choice of assisted death should be granted to those who seek it. * Bulletin of Medical Ethics *
Provides a comprehensive account of the issue and will be of interest to professionals and patients at large. -- Antonio Casado da Rocha * Metapsychology *