The Supreme Court has ruled that states may prohibit physician-assisted suicide. Expressing the views of his fellow justices, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote, “Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality, and practicality of physician-assisted suicide. Our holding permits this debate to continue.” Regulating How We Die is certain to be a landmark contribution to that debate.
Dr. Linda Emanuel—one of America’s most influential medical ethicists—has assembled leading experts to provide not only a clear account of the arguments for and against physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia but also historical, empirical, and legal perspectives on this complicated issue. These contributors include Marcia Angell, George Annas, Susan Wolf, and many others.
The important questions are addressed here, including: What does mercy dictate? Does physician-assisted suicide honor or violate autonomy? Is it more dignified than natural death? Is this decision purely a private matter? Will legalizing physician-assisted suicide put us on a slippery slope toward involuntary euthanasia? And, in an analysis of data not available in any other book, what can we learn from Holland, the only country in which physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal?
Regulating How We Die will be essential reading for anyone who has been handed a terminal diagnosis, for people close to those facing such a diagnosis, for professionals, including physicians, nurses, pastors, lawyers, legislators—indeed, for anyone who has considered the moral and political debate over doctor-assisted suicide.