Read A Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide by Lonny Shavelson Online


In a moving examination of one of the most troubling issues of our time, Lonny Shavelson puts a human face on the legal and ethical discussions that surround assisted suicide. By recounting with great intimacy and compassion the personal histories of five terminally ill people, he exposes the depth and complexity of this explosive issue....

Title : A Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780520212923
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 245 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide Reviews

  • Ralph
    2019-04-04 04:05

    A Chosen Death delves into aspects of assisted dying that I had not taken the time to think about. It seems almost a no-brainer to say that I would prefer to pick my time to die - especially if I am dying a painful death. Yet, many people who have access to medical aid in dying don't use it. Shavelson follows several people on their journeys from diagnosis to death.Currently, medical assistance in dying does not allow anyone to assist the patient in whatever method they choose for dying. That means that a person who is conscious and competent to make decisions but physically unable to put pills in their mouth cannot die in the fashion they have chosen. This happens to people who wait too long or to people who are physically disabled by an accident. Should physicians be allowed to administer the fatal dose in these cases? What about a person who is not able to live without life support and has no possibility of recovery? Withdrawing life support sometimes means that they die a slow and obviously painful death.Hospice has done wonders in providing pain-free existence to the dying. Shavelson argues (and I agree) that this is not enough. The dying patient should have the option to say that life has become an intolerable burden and be assisted in choosing to die sooner rather than later. Currently, hospice workers are forbidden to assist a patient to die and are even required to stop a patient who has the means to terminate their life. There is much more to this issue of choosing to die than I had thought of. Shavelson does an excellent job of digging into these issues. My only reason for not giving the book five stars is that it suffers from poor editing - grammatical errors such as the use of "lay" and "lie."A Chosen Death was published in 1995. I am sure there has been progress in addressing some of these issues. A number of states, including California, have passed legislation allowing medical assistance in dying for those who can administer the dose that ends their life. Other issues raised by this book remain to be addressed.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-10 03:25

    from the libraryAmong the reasons that I am intrested in this book, is the fact that when I lived in Berkeley I knew the author.Kirkus Reviews~ Extraordinary portraits of five dying people who contemplate ending their own lives, sensitively and movingly written by a physician who has thought long and hard about the issue of assisted suicide. Shavelson, who combines careers in medicine and journalism, encountered assisted suicide early: When he was 14, his mother, suffering from Crohn's disease and depression, made him promise to help her end her life should she so wish (she's still alive). Spurred by the response to Derek Humphry's Final Exit and the public debate over Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Shavelson contacted family support organizations and hospices for the dying to find his subjects. Each has a unique story. Renee Sahm, a resourceful woman with brain cancer, has two plans: (a) to fight for survival and (b) to kill herself. Shavelson anguishes at her bedside when she takes the fatal dose of liquid morphine and vodka. Pierre Nadeau, a proud and body-conscious young trapeze artist with AIDS, at first seems determined to commit suicide at a certain point of bodily deterioration. His story reveals not only how the dying continually redefine what they can live with but how the gay community handles assisted suicide. When Gene Robbins, a lonely widower who fears a third disabling stroke, contacts the Hemlock Society for information on how to kill himself, he gets not just brochures but some surprising personal assistance. This disturbing account of an overeager free-lance practitioner of euthanasia is the only one in which Shavelson uses pseudonymns. In recounting the poignant story of Kelly Niles, a 33-year-old quadraplegic who decides his life is no longer bearable and that starvation is his only way out, the author explores the rights of the disabled. In the final and perhaps most heart-rending story, a terminally ill woman chooses suicide but only after she and her family have their last farewells. A powerful argument in favor of legalizing assisted suicide, reinforced by haunting photographs taken by the author. Copyright 1999 Kirkus ReviewsPublishers Weekly ReviewsShavelson, an emergency-room physician and photojournalist in Berkeley, Calif., advocates physician-assisted suicide as an option for people who want to end the agony of a prolonged illness-but only after all other options, including hospice care, have been explored. He describes how he helped a friend commit suicide to shorten her struggle with terminal brain cancer. He also tells of his involvement in other cases of euthanasia, either as passive observer or as adviser to people who chose to end their lives and to their troubled families. These include a gay circus trapeze perfomer afflicted with AIDS; a quadriplegic frustrated in his quest for romantic love; and mystery writer Mary Bowen Hall, a victim of metastatic breast cancer. Shavelson's graphic photographs of his subjects at various stages of their ordeals add an unusually immediate dimension to this sensitive, helpful guide. (June) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-29 07:13

    this book profoundly affected the way i feel about dying. it also forced me to look more closely at death than i ever have before, to actually feel what a decision to die might feel like, to close your eyes and know you will not wake up.the author became intimately close with five people for whom living was ultimately suffering to death because of painful and fatal illnesses. i hadn't thought too much about the topic of euthanasia until i read this book, and now i believe it is shameful that it is not protected under the law. i know how i would feel if i was in one of these similar situations, and i believe that ultimately we all deserve the right to die as much as to live. please read this book.

  • Lana Higbee
    2019-03-28 08:04

    Really interesting examination.