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The Least Worst Death

Essays in Bioethics on the End of Life

Margaret Pabst Battin

Publication Date - February 1994

ISBN: 9780195082654

320 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Engagingly written by one of the foremost experts on issues involving death and dying, this book offers insight into the controversial and often difficult topics of withdrawing and withholding care, euthanasia, and suicide. An extensive introduction identifies the principal ethical issues, and the book explores such dilemmas as rationing health care for the elderly, whether there is a "duty to die," counseling in rational suicide, the risks of abuse with active euthanasia, religious views about suicide, whether suicide can be understood as a fundamental human right, and others. It also examines the differing practices of Holland and Germany in ending life. Exploring the dilemmas raised by contemporary medicine concerning the way die, and collecting under one cover a myriad of crucial elements involving one of the most inflammatory issues of our time, The Least Worst Death presents a timely, international analysis for anyone interested in bioethics or medical and applied ethics.

Table of Contents

    Introduction. The Politics of Dying: Current Ferment and Background Philosophical Issues
    I. Withdrawing and Withholding Care
    1. The Least Worst Death
    2. The Eclipse of Altruism: The Moral Price of Deciding for Others
    3. Is There a Duty to Die?: Age-Rationing and the Just Distribution of Health Care
    4. Dying in 559 Beds: Efficiency, "Best Buys," and the Ethics of Standardization in National Health Care
    II. Euthanasia
    5. Euthansia: The Fundamental Issues
    6. A Dozen Caveats Concerning the Discussion of Euthanasia in the Netherlands
    7. Fiction as Forecast: Euthanasia in Alzheimer's Disease?
    8. Voluntary Euthanasia and the Risk of Abuse
    III. Suicide
    9. Suicide: The Basic Issues
    10. Manipulated Suicide
    11. Prohibition and Invitation: The Paradox of Religious Views about Suicide
    12. Assisted Suicide: Can We Learn from Germany
    13. Suicide: A Fundamental Human Right?

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