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Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legalisation [Hardcover]

John Keown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 13, 2002 0521804167 978-0521804165 1
Whether the law should permit voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is a notoriously difficult question. How cogent is the "slippery slope" objection? In other words, is it reasonable to object on the grounds that patients would be killed who did not make a free and informed request, or for whom palliative care would have offered an alternative. This book provides the general reader with a clear introduction to this central question, not least by reviewing the Dutch euthanasia experience. It will interest both sides of the debate.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Keown] has produced what is the best book now in print on the case against the legalisation of euthanasia." The Tablet

"John Keown's informed and powerful argument against euthanasia features both an excellent exposition of its pitfalls and a strong confrontation with a question that remains controversial abroad: Are there circumstances in which withdrawl of treatment should be considered euthanasia? American readers of this book, who consider the question settled and are unfamiliar with cultural and legal differences in the way European countries and the United States have dealt with end-of-life issues, may be puzzled at first as to why this University of Cambridge lecturer in the law and ethics of medicine wants to address this question. But Keown's exposition will make even such readers, who believe we have wisely avoided many of the dilemmas Great Britain and other European countries are forced to face, realize that there are some dilemmas we have not escaped." The Hastings Center Report

"The lucidity of Keown's logic make this book a provocative and important contribution to the ethical and public policy issues involved in end-of-life care." The Hastings Center Report

"John Keown of the Cambridge University law faculty has produced an eminently readable and detailed analysis of the pros and cons of the euthanasia debate...he offers his book to help us approach the question with open and better-informed minds...For its wisdom, humor, thoughtful analysis, and utter precision of language, Euthanasia, Ethics, and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legislation is a worthy addition to one's library. It emphasizes a critical concern for all: when we fail to look out and care for the least of our citizens, the suffering and the dying, we begin to lose some of our humanity as a nation." The Journal of Legal Medicine

Book Description

Whether the law should permit voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is a notoriously difficult question. How cogent is the 'slippery slope' objection? In other words, is it reasonable to object on the grounds that patients would be killed who did not make a free and informed request, or for whom palliative care would have offered an alternative. This book provides the general reader with a lucid introduction to this central question, not least by reviewing the Dutch euthanasia experience. It will interest all of both sides of the debate.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 13, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521804167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521804165
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,566,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading May 7, 2004
Format:Paperback
As indicated by the subtitle, this book is unashamedly against the legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, but it is written in a moderate and reasoned tone and in a manner easily understood whether you are a health care professional, lawyer, politician or just an interested member of the public.
Keown first explores the inexactitudes and ambiguities that abound in the euthanasia debate, and then dissects the arguments for and against. The second pat of the book is an in-depth assessment of the practices in The Netherlands, the Northern Territory of Australia, and the U.S. State of Oregon, and includes a clear illumination of the inadequacy of the much-vaunted legal safeguards against abuse. It is to be hoped that Cambridge University Press will invite Keown to prepare an up-dated edition as more information and data becomes available from The Netherlands and Oregon. The third part of the book critically reviews the findings of various expert committees, associations and the courts.
By no means everyone will agree with the conclusions and opinions expressed in this book, but it should be required reading for anyone who intends to make a public statement in the euthanasia debate.
Roger Woodruff
Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
Past Chairman, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! May 24, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
At last there is a book that covers this contentious and complex topic in an easy-to-understand manner without over-simplification or devaluing the importance of the subject. Dr Keown has succeeded in writing a book that engages the reader with the issues involved, whilst ensuring that the non-expert is not left adrift. I would strongly recommend this book to everyone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! May 23, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
At last an easy-to-understand summary of the facts and opinions surrounding this contentious issue. Dr Keown presents the information in a manner accessible to non-experts without devaluing the accademic worth of the subject. I strongly recommend you buy this outstanding book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I still haven't received this book yet. I've been waiting for about 4 weeks and I haven't been able to find a place in the Amazon website to complain about it so I'm doing it here.

Thanks Amazon. Great work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! May 23, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
At last there has been a book published which is not just well written, but also informative, interesting, topical and relevant. I would advise anybody with an interest in the subject to buy the book. You do not need to be an expert; all the information is presented in an easy-to-understand manner, without devaluing the accademic value of the book.
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