Seduced by Death: Doctors, Patients, and the Dutch Cure

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9780393040036: Seduced by Death: Doctors, Patients, and the Dutch Cure

Examines the use of euthanasia and assisted suicide that have been in common practice in the Netherlands for more than twenty years and explores its implications for patients, their families, and medical practitioners

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Review:

The "Dutch Cure" referred to in the title of this powerful, unsettling study is, of course, euthanasia. A psychiatrist and an authority on suicide, Hebert Hendlin uses the example of the Netherlands, where physician-assisted suicide has been legal for years, to examine the current debate over euthanasia in the United States. For Hendlin, the Dutch solution creates a slippery slope toward outright killing, a term from which he does not shrink. This conclusion is supported by statistics showing that some 2,300 deaths annually in the Netherlands are ":outright euthanasia." Hendin goes on to examine prominent American legal cases, including the notorious Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and make a convincing case that the dynamics of patient-physician interaction at the close of life make reasoned, humane decisions about assisted suicide all but impossible. Hendin's book will not convince everyone, but it lays down a powerful argument for opponents to grapple with.

About the Author:

Herbert Hendin, M.D., is Executive Director of the American Suicide Foundation and Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College.

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