The Right to Die (Impact Books)

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9780531130155: The Right to Die (Impact Books)
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Examines the controversial question of a terminally ill person's right to die

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The moral issues and changing choices and perceptions wrought by advanced medical technology, which can lead to ``life- saving'' intervention whose value is, at best, deeply problematic. Enlivening her narrative with anecdotal accounts, well chosen to exemplify how difficult medical decisions can be, Landau describes situations when life may be painfully extended by ``heroic means'' even though death is imminent or there is no hope that the person will ever again function as an individual. She mentions court cases that have defined the present legal status of removing respirators, feeding tubes, etc.; discusses living wills, citing the need for specificity to withstand challenges; devotes a chapter to the particularly difficult cases of infants born severely and irreparably disabled, one to teenagers (though they are legally subject to parents' decisions, she makes a good case for giving them a voice in their own fate), and one to assisted suicide. Clearly in favor of adults' right to responsible, well-informed self-determination, Landau offers a balanced, well-organized summary of urgent questions that continue to be debated, negotiated, litigated, and revised. A fine resource. Photo insert; list of organizations (representing several points of view); source notes (mostly periodicals); further reading; index. (Nonfiction. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up-A well-written and philosophically balanced introduction to the issues and concerns surrounding this controversial topic. Landau provides succinct overviews and raises pertinent questions about patient rights in determining treatment; the true definition of death; the concept of living wills and durable powers of attorney; denial of treatment for severely disabled infants; quality of life; young adult rights versus parental choice in cases of terminal illness; and suicide and euthanasia. Well-known and lesser-known court cases are explored to illustrate the situations, emotions, and decisions at hand. Jack Kevorkian and medicide are discussed, as well as Derek Humphry and his Hemlock Society. The author concludes that these issues will always be personal and private ones, with ramifications that are difficult to legislate. A section of black-and-white photos elucidates the text, as does a sample living will. This book can serve as a companion to Kathlyn Gay's The Right to Die (Millbrook, 1993), which has a broader, more detailed scope and more extensive documentation. Both titles offer valuable, thought-provoking explorations of a social and ethical dilemma.
Celia A. Huffman, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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