Fixin' to Die: A Compassionate Guide to Committing Suicide or Staying Alive

Overview

We all have to die. Most would prefer to die in their sleep, quickly and without pain. Many of us will not. In Fixin' to Die, author David Lester submits that a decision to commit suicide is highly personal and not to be enforced by others, whether psychiatrist, psychologist, law-maker, clergy, friend, or relative. He further contends that the choice of suicide can be both rational and morally sound. This book is a guide for those evaluating suicide as an option, for making the final decision and carrying it out,...

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Overview

We all have to die. Most would prefer to die in their sleep, quickly and without pain. Many of us will not. In Fixin' to Die, author David Lester submits that a decision to commit suicide is highly personal and not to be enforced by others, whether psychiatrist, psychologist, law-maker, clergy, friend, or relative. He further contends that the choice of suicide can be both rational and morally sound. This book is a guide for those evaluating suicide as an option, for making the final decision and carrying it out, or resolving to continue living.

Fixin' to Die discusses the concept of death in an ideal world and what makes death "appropriate." Several definitions of an appropriate death are presented, and readers are encouraged to consider the matter for themselves. David Lester uses Harold Greenwald's Direct Decision Therapy to guide the reader through the decision-making process. Lester includes a case study of a family-involved decision and recommends that loved ones and significant others be included in the process. Further suggestions include how to plan the death ceremony and other tasks to be performed prior to death.

Fixin' to Die provides optional resources and Web sites for those choosing suicide and for those choosing to continue with life.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Debra Klbecka, MS (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book covers issues and concerns that are involved when an individual is contemplating suicide.
Purpose: According to the author, the purpose is to help the reader decide if suicide is an appropriate decision and provide a process that one can consider using to make this decision. The importance of this book is that it allows the reader to gain some insight into the decision about suicide. The author meets his objectives with the book.
Audience: The book is written for anyone who is contemplating suicide, or anyone who may know of someone who may be considering suicide, according to the author. It is written at an appropriate level, remaining true to the author's statement that there would be no technical jargon. The author dedicates chapter 2 to explaining his professional background, which has been devoted to a study of suicide for almost four decades with a focus on academia and research.
Features: The book covers issues that are of concern when a person is considering suicide: morality, whether the person is in a rational state, involvement of loved ones, and the decision process itself applying Harold's Greenwald's Direct Decision Theory. The author is not advocating for suicide, rather he explains that this decision needs to be carefully thought out, perhaps with the assistance of a good therapist. Chapters are devoted to helping the individual make plans for the estate and the death ceremony. One shortcoming of the book is that some of the statements seem too generalized.
Assessment: Most books that I have reviewed on the subject of suicide have described theories of why a person commits suicide and prevention of suicide for a mental health professional. This book provides some interesting points for discussion. Is this the "be-all and end-all " book (pun intended) that someone should use when contemplating committing suicide? The answer is no. However, it is a good starting point for discussion of a subject that is unpleasant to talk about.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895032423
  • Publisher: Baywood Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Series: Death, Value, and Meaning Ser.
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
CHAPTER 1 The Aim Of This Book
CHAPTER 2 Who Is David Lester And Why Is He Writing This Book
CHAPTER 3 What If You Are Suicidal But Do Not Want To Kill Yourself?
Some Points to Ponder
CHAPTER 4 How Do You Want To Die?
CHAPTER 5 Can It Be Rational To Kill Yourself?
CHAPTER 6 Is Suicide A Rational Decision Only If You're Dying?
CHAPTER 7 Isn't Suicide Immoral?
CHAPTER 8 Assisted Or Unassisted Suicide?
CHAPTER 9 What About The Law?
CHAPTER 10 If A Loved One Commits Suicide
CHAPTER 11 Preparing For Death: Some Simple Tasks
THE DECISION TO DIE
CHAPTER 12 Making The Psychological Decision Whether Or Not To Commit Suicide
CHAPTER 13 Getting The Family Involved
CHAPTER 14 Planning Your Death Ceremony
Bibliography
Index
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