A short, quietly determined, and unassailable book which says everything that needs to be said about the extenuation of life long after it has been reduced to just the fact of existing -- with or without pain, mind, spirit, function. There's nothing here which should surprise any thinking/feeling person about our negation of death and the ""anterooms"" (intensive care units, nursing homes) where families, doctors and nurses perpetuate sacrosanct attitudes and debasing procedures. Miss Mannes believes that people can only die well in the knowledge of their condition and with the attendance of those who love them. Midway she comes to the defense of euthanasia (and suicide) as the ""good death"" -- perhaps it does not need to be a ""new statute"" on the books but only a ""legal validation"" of the patient's request. She tussles very briefly with the so-called theological position and supports most of this with the best of what has been thought down through the years from John Donne and Sir Thomas More to Solzhenitsyn. Marya Mannes' name will further sanction the argument which is gaining more and more exposure and support -- i.e. the last right to die before we have really ceased to live.