Arguing Euthanasia: The Controversy Over Mercy Killing, Assisted Suicide, and the ""Right to Die""
. Touchstone Books, $17.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-684-80760-7
The right of terminally ill patients to put an end to their suffering has been treated as homicide in every country except the Netherlands--at least until November 8, 1994. On that date, Oregon voters became the first in our nation to approve assisted suicide, although the measure did not survive a court challenge. This collection of 19 provocative essays, by medical professionals and social commentators, examines the question. Hippocrates could not have imagined 2000 years ago the consequences of today's aggressive end-of-life hospital care. Most of us will die in institutions, rather than at home, surrounded by staff, rather than a personal physician. And all of us must ask: Given the resources for medical intervention, will I be allowed to die with dignity? This collection documents the popular movement that culminated in Oregon's referendum, beginning in 1988 with the anonymous Journal of the American Medical Association article, ``It's Over, Debbie.'' It also includes Dr. Timothy E. Quill's 1991 landmark piece, ``Death and Dignity,'' as well as personal accounts of assisted suicide by Richard Selzer and Betty Rollin. As they probe the legal and ethical issues at the heart of the postmodern dilemma (``What is a dignified death?''), these arguments offer valuable insights for humane treatment. They promise to become even more timely as life-prolonging technology advances. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/16/1995
Other - 256 pages - 978-1-4391-4372-8