Euthanasia Is Not the Answer

David Cundiff, Author Humana Press $29.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-89603-237-8
As an alternative to the growing movement for legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide of the terminally ill (especially people who have cancer or AIDS), oncologist Cundiff strongly advocates hospice programs such as the one in California where he serves as a ``palliative'' physician. In this challenging, comprehensive study of the nature of pain, he contends that most terminally ill patients fear pain more than death, and cites cases in which unrelieved suffering in high-tech hospitals, often aggravated by diagnostic tests, futile and painful resuscitation attempts and life-support systems, prompts patients to request euthanasia. After reviewing the arguments for and against euthanasia, Cundiff eloquently proposes basic changes in our health care system that would encourage the founding of hospice programs, in which death is considered a normal phase of life to be traversed with a minimum of suffering, accompanied by psychological support in the quest for spiritual growth. Cundiff also maintains that establishing more hospices would reduce the high cost of terminal care. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 07/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 190 pages - 978-1-4612-6752-2
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