Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choiceby Timothy E. Quill (Editor), Margaret P. Battin (Editor)
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
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 resortnot 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
Description: This is a much needed counterpart to a previous book, The Case Against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care, Foley, K. and Hendin, H. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). The authors and perspectives contained in this book address the legal, political, philosophical, clinical, religious, and personal elements needed for a robust discussion of physician-assisted dying.
Purpose: The editors of this book, spurred by the publication of the The Case Against Assisted Suicide , wanted to counter what they argue are misconceptions and misunderstandings in the literature opposing physician assistance in dying that lead to a false dichotomy between palliative care and hospice or physician-assisted dying at the end of life. To counter this false dichotomy, the editors sought to assemble the best arguments in favor of choice at the end of life, and they have done just that.
Audience: The editors are simply the leading authorities in favor of the legalization and regulation of physician-assisted suicide as a means to choice in dying. By assembling a wide range of contributors, this book will find a welcome audience in clinicians, bioethicists, philosophers, students, policy makers, lawyers, and the like who seek a careful, honest exploration of choice at the end of life.
Features: This is a very complete discussion in favor of choice at the end of life. The centrality of autonomy in the contest of the physician/patient relationship as a relationship between two people that must include mercy and non-abandonment is discussed. There is also a rich, informed understanding of why patients seek assistance in dying, a rigorous analysis of key philosophical concepts in the debate, and a discussion of data from both Oregon and the Netherlands of the practice of physician-assisted suicide.
Assessment: This is 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 would provide a thorough grounding in this issue.
Antonio Casado da Rocha
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)
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Meet the Author
Timothy E. Quill, M.D., is a professor of medicine, psychiatry, and medical humanities at the University of Rochester and author of A Midwife through the Dying Process, also available from Johns Hopkins. Margaret P. Battin, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and an adjunct professor of medical ethics at the University of Utah. She is the author of The Least Worst Death.
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