Should the US follow the Dutch model of legalized euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide? An American psychiatrist specializing in treating the suicidal answers this question with a vehement ``No.'' A founder and executive director of the research-oriented American Suicide Foundation, Hendin (Suicide in America, 1982, etc.) examined the Dutch experience by visiting the Netherlands, studying court cases, interviewing Dutch physicans, and analyzing the historical and cultural factors that led to the country's acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicides. He asserts that Dutch doctors conceded to him privately that euthanasia is out of control—a 1991 government report revealed that in over 1,000 cases physicians actively hastened or caused death without any request from the patient—but publicly they continue to promote it, and the Dutch courts continue to support their decisions. He concludes that a system that was ostensibly created to foster patient autonomy and self- determination has actually increased the paternalistic power of the medical profession. What we can learn from the Netherlands, says Hendin, is not to follow their lead. In the US, he argues, legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide would become a forced choice for large numbers of the poor, minorities, and the elderly. Instead, what's needed is a shift away from the medicalization of death to an acceptance of death as the inevitable end of life, better physican education in recognizing depression and in care of the dying, and better palliative care for the terminally ill. Two passages in the book are especially memorable: Hendin's bleak description of a Dutch film on euthanasia, Death on Request, which reveals medical abuses, and his account of his mother's death, which demonstrates that easy answers are hard to come by. Hendin's own arguments against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not new, but his revelations about the Dutch experience are a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)