The moral issues involved in doctors assisting patients to die with dignity are of absolutely central concern to the medical profession, ethicists, and the public at large. The debate is fueled by cases that extend way beyond passive euthanasia to the active consideration of killing by physicians. The need for a sophisticated but lucid exposition of the two sides of the argument is now urgent. This book supplies that need. Two prominent philosophers, Gerald Dworkin and R. G. Frey argue that in certain circumstances it is morally and should be legally permissible for physicians to provide the knowledge and means by which patients can take their lives. One of the best-known ethicists in the US (author of Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private) Sissela Bok argues that the legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide would entail grave risks and would in no way deal adequately with the needs of those at the end of their lives, least of all in societies without health insurance available to all. All the moral and factual issues relevant to this controversy are explored. The book will thus enable readers to begin to decide for themselves how to confront a decision that we are all likely to face at some point in our lives.
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