A thoughtful appraisal of how the courts have responded to right-to-die issues. Although the Supreme Court has held that there's a constitutionally protected ``right to die,'' this right is not absolute, for the state has an interest in protecting and preserving life. Urofsky (History & Law/Virginia Commonwealth University; A Conflict of Rights, 1991, etc.) examines the balancing that takes place between these often conflicting interests. He looks at the now-familiar Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, and Baby Jane Doe cases, as well as lesser-known but equally difficult ones. Although he focuses on how the law has tackled the right to die, Urofsky also glances at theology's attempts to deal with the problem, and he summarizes the views of Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism, and various non-Western religions on suicide and euthanasia. He looks at how the law has regarded mercy killings; the rights of the incompetent (e.g., those in comas and handicapped newborns); and even the rights of convicts on death row to refuse to appeal their sentences. Advance directives (``living wills'') and proxy statements giving durable power of attorney to another to make health-care decisions are also explored (sample forms are included), along with some caveats about meeting individual state requirements. Urofsky makes clear why doctors and hospitals, anxious to protect themselves from liability, often insist on procedural safeguards that obstruct the patient's personal autonomy. To those who argue that the courts are not the proper place for making the tough decisions about life and death, Urofsky asks where else a society based on the rule of law can turn. A cool appraisal of the legal standing of the right to die, warmed by human stories that linger in the memory.

Pub Date: May 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-684-19344-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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