Medically Assisted Death

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $66.01
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 39%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $66.01   
  • New (4) from $66.01   
  • Used (1) from $127.66   


Does a competent person suffering from a terminal illness or enduring an otherwise burdensome existence, who considers his life no longer of value but is incapable of ending it, have a right to be helped to die? Should someone for whom further medical treatment would be futile be allowed to die regardless of expressing a preference to be given all possible treatment? These are some of the questions that are asked and answered in this wide-ranging discussion of both the morality of medically assisted death and the justifiability of making certain instances legal. A case is offered in support of the moral and legal permissibility of specified instances of medically assisted death, along with responses to the main objections that have been levelled against it. The philosophical argument is bolstered by empirical evidence from The Netherlands and Oregon where voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are already legal.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...engagingly and clearly written, and contains a number of interesting observations on a range of issues central to the euthanasia debate."
-John Keown, Georgetown University, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"...a carefully and rigorously argued book that is an elegant paradigm of the precise, succinct style of analytical applied ethics...Young's book is an excellent elaboration and critique of arguments on both sides of the issue...Highly recommended"
-R. Werner, Hamilton College, Choice

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Rebecca L Volpe, B.A.(Saint Louis University)
Description: In this book, Robert Young asserts that there is a strong case for legalizing physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, but that it is neither justifiable nor necessary to make a case for non-voluntary euthanasia. The stated lens of the book is philosophical, but the author does an excellent job of intertwining relevant information from other fields, such as theology, law, and medicine.
Purpose: The purpose is to help change the legal status of medically assisted dying in the author's own country - Australia — and other places throughout the world, through an interdisciplinary examination of medically assisted death. This objective is approached through a carefully developed stance on the philosophical acceptability of medically assisted death, as well as a refreshing consideration of relevant objections and practical hurdles.
Audience: Although this is an essay in applied philosophy, it is intended to be accessible to those from related disciplines as well as those directly involved in the formation of public policy. With its clear writing and oft-stated objectives, the book easily fulfills these aspirations.
Features: The author first lays out the positive argument for medically assisted death, then thoroughly addresses many of the primary objections, including professional integrity, double effect, competence, advance directives, the slippery slope, and the sanctity of human life. A concluding chapter briefly summarizes the argument and finds that voluntary forms of medically assisted death should be made legal in jurisdictions beyond The Netherlands, Oregon, and Belgium. A respectable reference list, a short list of legal cases, and an index of names and subjects help make this book a first-rate reference tool.
Assessment: The author's thorough and precise argument leaves little to be desired from a work of bioethics. The inclusion of information from a wide range of fields represents the interdisciplinary nature of bioethics at its best. Although physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia can be viewed as somewhat overexamined in the bioethics literature, Robert Young articulates his argument in an interesting and refreshingly accessible fashion.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521880244
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2007
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Young is Reader in Philosophy at La Trobe University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. A case for the legalisation of voluntary medically assisted death; 3. Medical futility; 4. Physician-assisted suicide; 5. The sanctity of human life; 6. Killing versus letting die, the doctrine of double effect, and palliative care for the dying; 7. Professional integrity and voluntary medically assisted death; 8. Competence and end-of-life decision making; 9. Advance directives; 10. Voluntary medically assisted death and slippery slope arguments; 11. Non-voluntary euthanasia; 12. Concluding remarks.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)