A Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance

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Yale University Press, 2000 - Medical - 288 pages
This book is written for all those who are concerned about how their life may end--and who wish to die without unnecessary suffering. Dr. Charles F. McKhann discusses many aspects of physician-assisted dying and explains why he thinks it should be made legally available under certain circumstances.

Dr. McKhann, a specialist in cancer surgery, has conducted in-depth interviews with people who were dying from a variety of illnesses and with the physicians who cared for them. Drawing on these interviews and on his own experiences as a physician, he looks at the dying process as it is encountered in painful and debilitating diseases and at the needs of patients and their families. Dr. McKhann presents the case for rational suicide, comparing a failed suicide attempt in the United States with a planned death in the Netherlands and illustrating the differences in approach and attitudes. He explains the ways in which physician assistance is already taking place and considers the physician`s personal and professional concerns. And he reflects on relevant religious, moral, legal, and public-policy issues that are currently so widely debated. His thought-provoking book is a valuable resource not only for the general public but also for compassionate physicians who attend people with fatal diseases and for lawmakers who strive for understanding and courage in dealing with this new challenge.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
The Needs of the Patient
16
Rational Suicide The Core of the Controversy
46
The Search for Help Physician Assistance
76
Dying Alone or Dying with Help Our Frightened Society
109
Physicians Concerns
133
Public Concerns Abuse and the Slippery Slope
162
The Legal Basis for Assisted Dying
199
From Patients to Physicians and Policy
226
Notes
243
Index
263
Copyright

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