Arguing Euthanasia: The Controversy Over Mercy Killing, Assisted Suicide, And The "Right To Die" / Edition 1

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The proliferation of life-prolonging technology in recent years has made the controversy over the "right to die" and physician-assisted suicide one of the most explosive medical and ethical issues of our day. Dr. Jack Kevorkian's "suicide machine" has commanded front-page coverage for several years, while in 1994 Oregon passed a measure allowing the terminally ill to obtain lethal prescriptions for suicide, and other states have placed similar proposals on their ballots.

Arguing Euthanasia brings together for the first time an impressive array of viewpoints from both sides of this emotionally charged question as well as voices from the gravely ill and their loved ones. Beginning with a selection of pieces from the New England Journal of Medicine, where the debate was ignited in 1988, Arguing Euthanasia features essays by such outspoken advocates of active euthanasia as Timothy Quill and Sidney Hook, and important social critics and commentators such as Nat Hentoff, Leon R. Kass, and Ronald Dworkin.

As they probe the legal and ethical issues at the heart of physician-assisted suicide, these essays offer invaluable insights not only for those caring for the terminally ill but for anyone concerned with the deeper philosophical conflict between enduring life-oriented values and personal dignity that lies at the heart of this controversy.

Anthology, both pro & con, incl. selections from the New England Journal of Medicine/essays by Nat Hentoff, etc.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The right of terminally ill patients to put an end to their suffering has been treated as homicide in every country except the Netherlands-at least until November 8, 1994. On that date, Oregon voters became the first in our nation to approve assisted suicide, although the measure did not survive a court challenge. This collection of 19 provocative essays, by medical professionals and social commentators, examines the question. Hippocrates could not have imagined 2000 years ago the consequences of today's aggressive end-of-life hospital care. Most of us will die in institutions, rather than at home, surrounded by staff, rather than a personal physician. And all of us must ask: Given the resources for medical intervention, will I be allowed to die with dignity? This collection documents the popular movement that culminated in Oregon's referendum, beginning in 1988 with the anonymous Journal of the American Medical Association article, ``It's Over, Debbie.'' It also includes Dr. Timothy E. Quill's 1991 landmark piece, ``Death and Dignity,'' as well as personal accounts of assisted suicide by Richard Selzer and Betty Rollin. As they probe the legal and ethical issues at the heart of the postmodern dilemma (``What is a dignified death?''), these arguments offer valuable insights for humane treatment. They promise to become even more timely as life-prolonging technology advances. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684807607
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/1/1995
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,003,771
  • Product dimensions: 0.58 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 11
Pt. I It's Not Over Yet, Debbie 27
It's Over, Debbie 31
Doctors Must Not Kill 33
Debbie's Dying: Mercy Killing and the Good Death 37
Fashioning an Ethic for Life and Death in a Post-Modern Society 42
Pt. II Through Doctors' Eyes 51
Death and Dignity - A Case of Individualized Decision Making 55
A Question of Mercy 63
Pt. III The Dutch Model 77
Helping a Man Kill Himself, as Shown on Dutch TV 81
A Dozen Caveats Concerning the Discussion of Euthanasia in the Netherlands 88
The Slippery Slope of Euthanasia 110
Euthanasia - The Need for Procedural Safeguards 113
Pt. IV Northwest Passage: Debate on the Pacific Coast 119
Physicians' Aid in Dying 123
Physician-Assisted Suicide: Flight from Compassion 133
When Medicine Lost Its Moral Conscience: Oregon Measure 16 140
Pt. V Voices For and Against 169
Vital Distinctions, Mortal Questions: Debating Euthanasia and Health Care Costs 173
Euthanasia 196
Death with Dignity and the Sanctity of Life 211
In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia 237
If You Love Her, Help Her Die 241
Life Is Sacred: That's the Easy Part 246
Acknowledgments 253
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2002

    All the Info you need for this topic!

    The book gives a wonderful, unbiased review of one of the most controversial topics of this era. With excellent points on both sides, it causes the reader to question what they would actually do in a situation that considered euthanasia an option.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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