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Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide Paperback – August 1, 2002
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"Thomas Szasz advances his defense of autonomy and liberty by speaking out for the right to suicide. Szasz has written many provocative and courageous books. He has done so again."-Ideas on Liberty
"An intelligent critique of the cultural misunderstanding of suicide....Szasz is particularly persuasive in hacking through the thicket of medical ethics in "right to die" circumstances."-Kirkus Reviews
"One can read this book from the perspective of moral philosophy, political science or clinical medicine....Fatal Freedom is a very serviceable book for physicians, who in one way or the other have to deal with suicide in their medical practice."-Medical Sentinel
?Thomas Szasz advances his defense of autonomy and liberty by speaking out for the right to suicide. Szasz has written many provocative and courageous books. He has done so again.?-Ideas on Liberty
?An intelligent critique of the cultural misunderstanding of suicide....Szasz is particularly persuasive in hacking through the thicket of medical ethics in "right to die" circumstances.?-Kirkus Reviews
?One can read this book from the perspective of moral philosophy, political science or clinical medicine....Fatal Freedom is a very serviceable book for physicians, who in one way or the other have to deal with suicide in their medical practice.?-Medical Sentinel
?This is a book for all that wish to expand their awareness of the historical and modern attitudes toward suicide, and explore differing views on this sensitive topic. Definitely written and efficiently organized, this book would be of interest to medical and legal professionals, the clergy, students of these disciplines, as well as lay people. The book is interesting, easy to read and understand.?-Risk: Health, Safety, & Environment
"Thomas Szasz is one of the great independent minds of our age. Once again he has made us think, and about a central moral problem of human existence."-Geoffrey Wheatcroft, journalist and author
"Szasz demonstrates cogently the rhetoric of suicide by which the decision to end one's life is erroneously depicted as a problem or a disease, which must be solved or cured."-Richard E. Vatz Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, Towson University
"This is an important book written with the clarity and unassailable logic which we have come to associate with Szasz. It is a work of scholarship which is immediately accessible and addresses a major issue in our society. It must be read!"-Professor James McCormick Trinity College, University of Dublin
"Szasz strikes yet another blow for clarity, dignity, and liberty. When we finally break out of our bad habit of medicalizing moral choice, Thomas Szasz will garner well-earned laurels for having shown us that tyranny administered by doctors with good bedside manners is tyranny nonetheless."-Sheldon Richman, Editor The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty
"Fatal Freedom deepens Szasz's commitment and our understanding of what might be called the libertarian tradition. In considering the theme of suicide as part of the larger question of the place of State power in individual decision-making he has made a genuine contribution in advancing the current discourse on matters of profound moment to us all."-Irving Louis Horowitz Professor of Sociology & Political Science Rutgers University --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
THOMAS SZASZ is Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse. He is widely recognized as the world's foremost critic of psychiatric coercions and excuses and as a leading philosopher of liberty-and-responsibility. He is the author of 24 books, including The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) and Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market (Praeger, 1992).--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Szasz does not admit the existence of mental illness unlike Dr. Kay Jamison who, in her book NIGHT FALLS FAST, assumes in the suicide its "almost ubiquitous presence." She discounts the will as a vital force in determining behavior; he emphasizes it as follows: Suicide is not a disease but a deed and as such, poses a moral, not a medical, problem. To allow medical experts to pathologize it is indicative of our willingness not to think, but to be thought for. More, these agents of our ever-expanding "therapeutic state" seem unable to call things by their right names. For example: Why say suicide is an unnatural act when they mean it is a wrongful one? Or misname medical intervention for the dying as medical treatment? Szasz deplores imprecise language because it rigor-mortises thought and begs significant questions. How can we, for example, without empirical evidence, accept the idea that mental illness is like any other illness?
Dr. Jamison reminds us that suicide among the young has tripled in the last forty-five years; Dr. Szasz asks whether suicide prevention in its present form does not increase its likelihood. Her study echoes the latest orthodox belief in biologically-based mood disorders. He, on the other hand, takes issue with our tendency to pathologize socially unacceptable behavior: Only yesterday we believed masturbation and homosexuality cause insanity. Today insanity causes suicide.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fatal Freedom: The Ethics And Politics Of Suicide by Thomas Szasz (Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse) is a thoughtful... Read morePublished on October 8, 2002 by Midwest Book Review