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Deadly Compassion: The Death of Ann Humphry and the Truth About Euthanasia Hardcover – January 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688122213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688122218
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,176,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1989, when Derek Humphry, a founder of the Hemlock Society and author of Final Exit , learned that his second wife, Ann, like his first, had breast cancer, he left her. Ann committed suicide in 1991, leaving a note in which she accused Derek of driving her to it. She also raised questions about his role in his first wife's death, about which he wrote in Jean's Way (coauthored with Ann), and confessed to misgivings about their joint assistance in the double suicides of her parents. Ann's suicide and allegations shook the Hemlock Society, which advocates the legalization of "assisted death" for those who request it. Marker, director of the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, to whom Ann turned when Derek rejected her, may sometimes seem to exploit the Humphrys' troubles to fuel her arguments against euthanasia. But her concern that the distinction between assisted suicide and murder can be thin is vivid and palpable. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

When Ann Humphry, estranged wife of Derek Humphry (executive director of the Hemlock Society and author of the bestselling Final Exit), committed suicide in 1991, her farewell note asked Marker, an articulate and prominent spokesperson for antieuthanasia forces, to tell her story. This book is the result. The two women became friends in 1989, after Ann, who had lost both her husband and her job when she was stricken with breast cancer, called Marker for help. The breakup of the Humphry marriage was a messy one, involving public statements, lawsuits, and fighting within the Hemlock Society. Marker defends her friend loyally and tells Ann's side of the story convincingly. As cofounders of the Hemlock Society, the Humphrys were well-known leaders of the right-to-die crusade, but Ann's private feelings about euthanasia changed after her participation in her own parents' deaths. She came to see mercy killing not as a compassionate solution to suffering but as a ``deadly deception'' that leads only to more suffering. This view is shared by Marker, who uses Ann's story to trace the recent history of euthanasia and to argue forcefully against it. She fears that the right to die can easily become pressure to die, and she warns that giving physicians ``license to kill'' is a grave mistake. The statistics she cites on physician-induced deaths in the Netherlands--often regarded as a model by euthanasia advocates--are disturbing (e.g., that one thousand patients die each year from ``involuntary euthanasia,'' that is, without giving their consent to die). Marker advocates ``always to care, never to kill,'' and she includes a condensation of a declaration on that theme by an ecumenical group of theologians and philosophers. Both a warm tribute to a lost friend and a cool argument by an experienced opponent of euthanasia--although it leaves many difficult questions unanswered. (Photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jules on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Should euthanasia be legalised? Not according to this book; the right to die would soon become the duty to die. Especially as Western governments are facing the problem of a growing ageing population and more and more expensive medical treatments, and will probably decide it would be better for everyone if those who can't take care of themselves could be persuaded to push up daisies. It also addresses the major problem with euthanasia - that you can't legalise it without legalising murder.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jules on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Should euthanasia be legalised? Not according to this book; the right to die would soon become the duty to die. Especially as Western governments are facing the problem of a growing ageing population and more and more expensive medical treatments, and will probably decide it would be better for everyone if those who can't take care of themselves could be persuaded to push up daisies. It also addresses the major problem with euthanasia - that you can't legalise it without legalising murder.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book blows the lid off the euthanasia and right to die movement, and shines a light on what goes on behind the scenes in the lives of those involved in a public policy issue such as euthanasia.

Should be on the shelf of every activist, for or against, and certainly on the shelf of every prosecuting attorney!
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Format: Hardcover
I am so thankful for this book since euthanasia is in the forefront of our society and being implemented so aggressively throughout the world and being adopted by so many doctors that took a Hippocratic oath to protect life not take it! Ann Humphry in my opinion is a hero she realized through her own tragic errors and brokenness the pains of how euthanasia was so wrong and suffered from tremendous guilt about her involvement with her parents deaths that it drover her to take her own life after she survived breast cancer! She was demoralized and shunned from her own husband and the HEMLOC community totally abandoned by them in a time of need! Ann's confrontation with death changed her idea of dying and now she became a threat to the HEMLOC society and their ideology. Her life stands in a complete contradiction to what they believed so they rejected her and ostracized her as to suggest they would have rather she died then lived and the husband was vicious in his efforts to destroy her health while she was undergoing treatment for her cancer! We all must read this book to understand what we are dealing with in these current times as euthanasia campaign and propaganda are pushing to change the laws that protect us!
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