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The Case against Assisted Suicide

, 384 pages
February 2002



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The Case against Assisted Suicide

For the Right to End-of-Life Care

In The Case against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care, Dr. Kathleen Foley and Dr. Herbert Hendin uncover why pleas for patient autonomy and compassion, often used in favor of legalizing euthanasia, do not advance or protect the rights of terminally ill patients. Incisive essays by authorities in the fields of medicine, law, and bioethics draw on studies done in the Netherlands, Oregon, and Australia by the editors and contributors that show the dangers that legalization of assisted suicide would pose to the most vulnerable patients. Thoughtful and persuasive, this book urges the medical profession to improve palliative care and develop a more humane response to the complex issues facing those who are terminally ill.

Kathleen Foley, M.D., is professor of neurology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and director of the Project on Death in America of the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation.Herbert Hendin, M.D., is professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College and medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"The writing is of uniformly high quality, and the book achieves stylistic consistency while still reflecting an individual voice in each chapter. The book is sorely needed."

"The methods of palliative care, or comfort care, have in the past few decades reached a level of effectiveness such that suffering thought at first to be intractable can almost always be relieved. And this is the ultimate message of this vastly important book that now makes its timely appearance."

"A major contribution to our understanding of the practice, theory, and limitations of assisted suicide and euthanasia in seriously ill patients. The book is superbly written and intellectually challenging. I am convinced that it will become standard reading for all—whether advocates or opponents of assisted suicide—who want to think more deeply and learn more about what we need to do to improve end-of-life care."

"The book is timely and important in the life and death debate that is of personal relevance to us all."

"This excellent book will be a valuable resource for anybody interested in the delivery of better end-of-life care, whether they are clinicians, ethicists, or health care policymakerrs."

"Foley, Hendin, and their contributors have produced a truly outstanding resource."

"Brings together some well known and respected players in the debate, whose contributions lend considerable weight to the case... A thought-provoking and comprehensive look at the case against assisted suicide."

"Provides a comprehensive, persuasively argued case against assisted suicide."