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Easeful Death: Is There a Case for Assisted Dying?

Author(s): Mary Warnock

ISBN13: 9780199539901

ISBN10: 0199539901


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  • - Explains the main philosophical, ethical, medical and legal arguments for and against a change in the law covering assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    - Presents a spectrum of widely differing opinions held by the public, doctors, and lawyers

    - Explores the issue of the Sanctity of Life, and shows this argument can no longer be usefully or consistently applied to modern medicine.

    - An accessible, open-minded, and sensitively-written volume, guiding the reader clearly thruogh some very difficult moral issues.

    - A powerful and authoritative author team: Mary Warnock is one of the UKs most respected moral philosophers, with a long record for forming opinion and guiding legislation on moral issues; Elisabeth Macdonald provides a lifetimes experience in clinical medicine, and is also an expert in medical law and in communication between doctors and patients.

    Easeful Death sets out in straightforward terms the main arguments both for and against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. The legal choices confronting those caring for the terminally ill, and indeed those patients themselves who may be facing intolerable suffering towards the end of their lives, have been the cause of fierce public debate in recent years.

    The book takes as its starting point attempts in Britain and other countries to bring compassion into the rules governing the end of a patients life. Drawing on experience in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the US state of Oregon, where either assisted dying or euthanasia have been legalized, the authors explore the philosophical and ethical views on both sides of the debate, and examine how different legislative proposals would affect different members of society, from the very young to the very old. They describe the practical, medical processes of palliative care, self-denial of food and water, and assisted dying and euthanasia, and ultimately conclude that the public is ready to embrace a more compassionate approach to assisted dying.

    This sensitive and authoritative short volume is informed throughout by a strong sense that, whatever the results of the legislative argument, compassion for one another must be both the guide and the restraint upon the way we treat people who are dying or who want to die.

  • Mary Warnock

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Easeful Death: Is There a Case for Assisted Dying?