ISBN 10: 1559721057 / ISBN 13: 9781559721059
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Synopsis: Thanks to the runaway success of the number-one national bestseller Final Exit: the Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, the right to die has been brought to the moral and political forefront. Derek Humphry's new book, Dying with Dignity: Understanding Euthanasia, puts the somewhat confusing ethics and legality of the right to die in perspective and serves as an important companion volume to Final Exit.
Euthanasia became a personal experience for Derek Humphry when his first wife, Jean, who was suffering from terminal breast cancer, asked him to help her die. This unhappy event, and the public interest surrounding it, caused him to found the nonprofit National Hemlock Society and become the champion of this cause.
Through essays and briefings, Humphry's latest book, Dying with Dignity, helps readers work their way through the labyrinth of complex issues which comprise the subject.
Topics of discussion include:
Euthanasia: Is it mercy or murder?
The case for rational suicide--when suicide is justified and the ethical parameters of autoeuthanasia (i.e., the taking of one's own life).
The trend toward acceptance--why more judges are increasingly ruling for the terminally ill patient's rights over the hospital's responsibilities to preserve life.
Evidence of the dramatic growth of the right-to-die movement.
Questions and answers about the Hemlock Society--answers including why this pioneer group was formed and what its political goals are. Specific questions regarding the pros and cons of different suicide methods are also discussed.
The landmark cases of eleven doctors who have been charged with killing a terminally ill patient or family member, and the consequences of these cases--from Harold Balzer, who in 1935 "murdered" his daughter, a victim of cerebral spinal meningitis, to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who in 1991 developed a suicide machine.
The profound differences between mercy killing, assisted suicide, and auto-euthanasia--and the one the Hemlock Society supports and why.
Dying with Dignity also discusses the effect that major mercy killing cases have had--involving individuals like Roswell Gilbert, Dr. Peter Rosier, Nancy Cruzan, and Karen Ann Quinlan--and the lessons these cases have taught.
In Humphry's professional opinion, voluntary euthanasia will become lawful within the next few years. Recent polls overwhelmingly indicate that the public believes in a person's moral right to end his or her life when that person has an incurable disease. And with the surprising success of Final Exit, it's apparent that the right to die is on a lot of people's minds. Dying with Dignity will help readers to sort out the complexities of this issue.

About the Author: Derek Humphry founded the Hemlock Society USA in l980, has written five books on right-to-die issues, the best known being Jean's Way and Final Exit.

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