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Final Wishes: A Cautionary Tale on Death, Dignity & Physician-Assisted Suicide Paperback – January 1, 2000

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Paperback, January 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830822593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830822591
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,693,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dr. Ron Grey faces a dilemma. His good friend Patrick has been diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease. When Patrick asks Ron to help him die peacefully and painlessly, Ron searches his mind, soul and spirit for answers. Ron starts his journey by attending Illinois Senate hearings where opponents and proponents debate the possible legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Ron soon learns that he is mired within the legal and political aspects of PAS as well as having to contend with the medical and ethical repercussions. While recounting this narrative, author Chamberlain takes readers on a thought-provoking, emotional journey through the many facets of PAS, presenting the basic arguments for and against this unorthodox medical proposal. As Ron discovers, persuasive reasons are found in both camps. "If PAS is illegal," the proponents ask, "aren't we treating animals more 'humanely' than we treat humans?" They also argue that "botched suicide attempts" will occur if legalization doesn't pass. Opponents contend that "PAS invites other, tragic, practices," placing physicians on a slippery ethical slope. "Legalizing PAS results in the devaluing of disabled and ill people," they claim, adding that legalization may also result in "misdiagnoses leading to suicide requests by people who are not terminally ill." Chamberlain addresses difficult, disturbing questions with an objectivity tempered by compassion. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Deals honestly, compassionately, and intelligently with the controversial topic of physician-assisted suicide and introduces deep ethical questions. -- Moody Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2000

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Bywater on September 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Paul Chamberlain has certainly provided us with an engaging and instructive volume on euthanasia. Couched in a fictional narrative, Chamberlain's plot walks us throught the relational, philosophical, medicinal, and legal dynamics of euthanasia. And though the narrative is fictional, Chamberlain points the reader to some of the better literature on the subject in his endnotes.

I seldom read a book cover-to-cover, but Chamberlain's narrative caught me and held me captive until I finished the book. But I must warn you, as someone still working his way through all the attendant issues (religious, social, philosophical and emotional), the first half of the book provides an emotionally swaying presentation of the case for physician-assisted suicide. While reading it, I kept wondering "What I would do -- if I was the one dying, or if I was the one asked to help a friend die?"
The second half of the book engages the many arguments in favor of euthanasia in a thoughtful, but never shallow, fashion. Here one will encounter a real struggle over suffering -- but viewed from the perspective of one informed by the facts, engaged in the drama, and influenced by sound religious, philosophical and social principles.

I enthusiastically recommend this book as an introduction to the subject by an author well-informed in all the facets of the issue. For more information, I would recommend the reader visit The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity ([...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. McPherson on September 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Chamberlain plunges us into an ethical dilemma that is hotly debated around the country today. Physician assisted suicide has been considered in many states and legalized in Oregon. This book takes us to a probable state senatorial debate where the arguments for and against physician assisted suicide are presented. The debate boils in the senate while two friends, Dr. Ron and Dr. Pat, meet. Patrick is dying and Ron has to decide if he should assist in his friend's death. The reader's eyes are opened by a trip through a palliative care ward. The debate in the Senate shows how an issue can be molded and sculpted to look attractive. The author's credentials may help one to see which way the decision must go but in all fairness I leave the answer to the reader. The bigger question is how we are affected by the tale and what would we do?
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeezus on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
That's right, the author of this book either thinks that his readers are so stupid that they will not understand the blatant points and arguments his one-dimensional characters debate that he puts notes in the margins. As well, the prose style is so mundane that the notes are actually more exciting. He highlights the key arguments of PAS (Physician Assisted Suicide) but closes with the strongest arguments against and the strongest arguments for, stacking the deck against PAS. A biased book from a publisher that is biased (the publisher is a Christian publisher, a traditional Christian publisher, thus opposed to PAS).
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