cover image Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder

Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder

Wesley J. Smith, Author Crown Publishers $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8129-2790-0

Lawyer and anti-euthanasia advocate Smith (The Senior Citizens' Handbook) takes a strong position against assisted suicide in this study. He bases his opposition to ""mercy killing,"" as advocated by the Hemlock Society and as practiced by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, on the growing acceptance of assisted suicide, which in turn, he claims, has led to unnecessary deaths of those who suffer from inadequate medical care and depression. Drawing on research from the Netherlands, where assisted suicide is legal, Smith demonstrates that euthanasia is on the rise and is practiced on not only the terminally ill, but on the chronically ill and disabled as well. He predicts that the emphasis on cutting costs by profit-driven, managed-care plans in the U. S. will result in a policy of killing those requiring long-term care if assisted suicide becomes legal. Despite his strong feelings, Smith rarely lapses into polemic and presents viable alternatives for seriously ill patients, such as adequate pain management and quality hospice care. He convincingly argues that withdrawing a patient from feeding tubes leads to an agonizing death from dehydration. Author tour. (June)