A Good Death: An Argument For Voluntary Euthanasia

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Melbourne Univ. Publishing, May 1, 2008 - Family & Relationships - 320 pages
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A Good Death is a candid and provocative account of the experiences of many terminally ill people Dr Rodney Syme has assisted to end their lives. Over the past thirty years Syme has challenged the law on voluntary euthanasia at first clandestinely and now publicly risking prosecution in doing so. He again risks prosecution for writing this book.
A Good Death is a moving journey with those who came to Syme for help, and a meditation on what it means in our culture to confront death. It is also a doctor's personal story about the moral dilemmas and ethical choices he faces working within the grey areas of the law.
In this important book, Rodney Syme argues for the end of the unofficial 'conspiracy' of silence within the medical profession and the decriminalisation of voluntary euthanasia in Australia. Through Syme's determination to tell the stories of those who he has assisted to die with dignity, A Good Death also draws wider lessons of value for those who find themselves in a similar situation.

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Defining the Problem
A Na´ve Death
Prolonging Life
The Nature of Suffering
Terminal Sedation
Respecting Choice
A Difficult Situation
Is This the Best We Can Do?
Provoking the Coroner
Fear of the Future
Jim Dies in His Own Bed
The Suffering Mind
A Death Not in Vain
Dying with Dignity

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About the author (2008)

Rodney Syme has been in medical practice for forty-five years, primarily as a urological surgeon. He was Chair of the Victorian Section of the Urological Society of Australasia in 1990-92, and chair of the Urology Study Group of the Cancer Council of Victoria in 1992-94. He has had extensive experience with cancer patients and with people with severe spinal injuries. He has been an advocate for physician-assisted dying for nearly twenty years, and the President of the Dying With Dignity Victoria for ten years.

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