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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: 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.