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Death with Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia Paperback – April 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Orfali approaches this agonizing subject with common sense informed by extensive research and an acute sensitivity.... A lucid, powerful argument for letting dying patients go gentle into that good night." 
                                            -- Kirkus Star Review

"It is the eyes-wide-open look at how life ends that makes it required reading for anyone who plans to die in the United States."
                                            -- Foreword Magazine's Clarion Five-Star Review

"This book is for everyone, not just those currently fighting a disease, as we all are only one heartbeat away from death."
                                             -- Pacific Book Review  Top-Five Review

"Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, you will find this book a compelling, and well-researched, case for legalizing physician-assisted dying."
                                              -- Feathered Quill  Five-Star Review 

About the Author

Orfali is a client/server system creator & distributed object consultant.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc. (April 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936780186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936780181
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As we will all die, this is a must read book for everyone.

In this well-researched book, Robert Orfali takes us on a tour of the American end of life system. He writes about how we die today in hospitals, ICUs, nursing homes and hospices. In this age of "slow dying and chronic disease" there is just too much unnecessary "torture" at the end...it is not a pretty picture. Orfali believes that some of this torture can be mitigated if we learn how to navigate the system and inform ourselves about our end-of-life choices. He tells us we must learn how to protect ourselves from the high-tech medical machine. We must become better consumers of death. Learning about death and the end of life system certainly will not kill us.

The modern end-of-life system appears to be a minefield filled with dangers. Even our hospices can be an unpredictable terrain. Orfali's data shows that there is only a 50/50 chance that you will receive palliative sedation in a hospice if you need it--it's all up to the attending physician. Orfali believes that terminal pain must be treated like an emergency. For example, he suggests that if you're experiencing unbearable terminal pain or suffering, why shouldn't you be able to call 911 and get hooked to a morphine pump? Orfali is a big advocate of end-of-life choices. He argues that we need all the choices that we can get at the end--including physician-assisted dying. He sees this last option can be a form of torture insurance in case all other options fail. For some, that option could be a first choice. Orfali makes a very strong case that "assisted dying complements hospice." He uses the latest data to demonstrate that, by providing both, "Oregon now has the best palliative-care system in America today." I totally agree.
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Format: Paperback
Author Robert Orfali examines all the intricacies of dying for the terminally ill and structures his arguments in a logical and helpful way. Whenever I had thought of suicide for terminally ill people I had always thought they could use the running car in the closed garage option which I have heard is pretty painless, but the one thing I hadn't thought of was the dilemma that Orfali addresses head on in this book. What if you want to live as long as possible, but do not want overwhelming pain at the end? Are you going to be able to go to the car, start it, and complete the necessary tasks at that stage? Are you even going to be able to swallow?

Orfali points out that many times people die in ICU while being treated aggressively and painfully to try and prevent that death. He makes a case for belief that this aggressive treatment, in terminal cases, is more like torture than treatment.

Orfali's perfect (but in most states illegal) solution is to be able to administer either by swallowing or by injection, a fatal dose of Nembatul. Orfali points out that we treat our dying pets better than we do our dying human loved ones. He support his argument with solid data from Oregon where physician-assisted dying is now legal.

The author provides logical arguments in his Great Debate chapter structured as points and counter points. He invites activists to use his book to create a better death options in all states. he says he knows that most people are not highly motivated enough to fight for legal death with dignity, but it hopes that some will. He makes that even easier by pricing the ebook at only 99 cents.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fine, fine piece of work and very much needed as the technology for keeping dying people minimally alive marches onward without regard to what being alive under those circumstances truly means. In fact, I never expected to find a single volume containing so complete and factual a presentation of the death with dignity issue. But now, some twenty years after publication of Derek Humphry's 's classic Final Exit, we have the next real milestone.

It covers, respectfully and thoroughly, all the arguments pro and con, plus the medical and legal ramifications of current and proposed policies. And best of all, the writing is lively and engaging. If you plan to read even one book on this topic, make Robert Orfali's Death With Dignity the one you choose.
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By Chels on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I loved how knowledgeable the author was about this issue. He provides a very strong argument for supporting euthanasia. He speaks of freedom of choice, informing the reader that in other periods of history humans did not necessarily control their lives, but today they do. The reader also picks up this book knowing that the author's wife passed away due to ovarian cancer, making this a personal issue as well.

The short quotes the reader will find scattered throughout the book add to the reader's experience. They are all relevant to the subject. The foot notes, indicating the research the author utilized while writing the book, are very helpful to those readers who may look for further information.

The author provides just enough information without inundating the reader with too much information. He speaks of hospice and the necessity of good care, the likes of which are not available to everybody. He provides counterarguments and points where necessary. This book is highly recommended to adult readers or anyone interested in the subject.

*complimentary review copy provided, this does not affect my opinion in any way*
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