Death and Dignity

Death and Dignity

Making Choices and Taking Charge

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
Addressing the options of terminally ill people, a doctor, who helped a dying patient commit suicide, offers advice to help patients and families deal with these very personal decisions and shares examples from his practice and from letters that he has received.

Book News
Quill is an M.D. who combines practical information with illustrative vignettes in this frank discussion of how to deal with dying and death under current and proposed legal and medical conditions. He devotes considerable space to physician-assisted suicide, of which he approves, outlining criteria and considerations. Instructions for advance directives (and sample forms) are included. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
Dr. Timothy Quill put his career in danger when he wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that he had assisted a terminally ill patient in suicide - at her request - by prescribing pills and letting her know how to take a lethal dose. He had treated "Diane" for many years, had seen her through other serious illnesses, and had responded to her desire to leave this world with her dignity still intact.
But "Diane's" story was not unique. Dr. Quill received over 2,000 letters from people who read his article, and was confided in by many other persons who had witnessed severe end-of-life suffering. By sharing some of these stories, Dr. Quill hopes to increase the choices available to dying patients.
Death and Dignity is about taking charge of your illness, no matter how serious. It emphasizes the necessity for honest dialogue between you and your doctor, including a thorough discussion of your feelings about death and dying. Doctors and patients must work together to investigate all health care options, from the most aggressive to those that emphasize comfort and the relief of suffering.
Ultimately, the patient's values and personal goals must guide all medical choices, particularly toward the end of life. Quill advocates, as did Norman Cousins in Anatomy of an Illness, that the patient must be an active participant in the process whether the decision is to fight the illness or to come to terms with death when all reasonable options are exhausted.
Through his years of practicing medicine, Dr. Quill has come to know that some incurably ill patients live beyond the point where they can find emotional or spiritual meaning in their lives. He believes that physician-assisted suicide should be an option when requested by those who suffer intolerably in spite of the best efforts of their doctor, their family, and themselves. He has seen the relief that dying can bring when living has become a nightmare with no end in sight.
Dr. Quill proposes criteria that would guide physician-assisted suicide. Sanctioning these criteria would put more choice and control in the hands of patients, where it properly belongs, without increasing the power that physicians and health care institutions currently have over life and death. Also included is practical guidance and information about living wills and health care proxies, so that patients can be protected should they lose the capacity to speak for themselves in the future.

& Taylor

Describes the physician's role in the care of the dying, suggests criteria for physician-assisted suicide, and discusses living wills

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c1993
ISBN: 9780393034486
Branch Call Number: 362.175 QUI
Characteristics: 255 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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