A very provocative recounting of the author's moral and practical struggles to have his comatose wife removed from a...

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A very provocative recounting of the author's moral and practical struggles to have his comatose wife removed from a life-support system. In March 1986, Jacqueline Cole, a 43-year-old mother of four and the wife of Harry, a Presbyterian minister, suffered a massive intracerebral hemorrhage and within minutes lapsed into a coma. Her last words before losing consciousness were ""I don't want to live this way."" It was this statement, as well as the opinion of at least one doctor that the situation was irreversible, that convinced her family six weeks later to seek a Maryland court's permission to have her treatment terminated. The court refused, and, in an ironic twist of fate, six days later Jacqueline awoke. Although sympathizing with the author's feelings of frustration during the period of his wife's illness, many readers will agree with the court's opinion that the petition, submitted so soon after the event, was precipitate. Indeed, Cole admits that some of the family's friends expressed objections to the family's decision. Fortunately, Jacqueline's recovery was rapid--and today she apparently supports the rightness of her husband's decision. Cole goes on to explore the spiritual implications of the ""right-to-die"" philosophy and cites similar cases from around the country, including that of New Jersey's highly publicized Karen Ann Quinlan. Also included: a listing of organizations and publications that deal with the medical, legal, and ethical aspects of the issue, as well as a standard ""Living Will Declaration"" form and one for a ""Durable Power of Attorney."" A unique take on a prickly subject, and likely to arouse controversy.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 1989

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1989