Originally a doctoral dissertation, this is a somewhat more rigorous and searching perspective of this live-coal issue than...

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DEATH BY DECISION: The Medical, Moral and Legal Dilemmas of Euthanasia

Originally a doctoral dissertation, this is a somewhat more rigorous and searching perspective of this live-coal issue than the Russell resume (Freedom to Die -- p. 106) while ultimately reaching the same conclusion -- the patient, if competent, can choose to die and, if not, Wilson feels a committee of five (rather than the patient's guardian) should make the decision. Only in one chapter on the four levels of ""moral discourse"" will this deter the average reader. On the whole Wilson is quite accessible as he goes into greater theological and ideological depth than Russell on the thinking of leading Protestants as well as the Church on this problem; both the medical dilemmas (""pertinent norms for terminal decisions"" have yet to be determined) and the legal obstructions are more briefly considered. One can cock an eyebrow at an occasional generalization (""For emotional and professional reasons, doctors tend to avoid becoming personally involved with dying patients"") but on the whole Wilson presents a considerable body of material to suggest the inordinate ambiguity and responsibility of this old/new elective occasioning so much controversy -- back and forth, round and round, on and on.

Pub Date: April 14, 1975

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Westminster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1975