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Euthanasia Is Not the Answer

Humana Press
Place of Publication: 
New York

Today's news is full of stories about "suicide machines," critical life-and-death decisions, who owns a person's life, death with dignity, prolonging painful life, and euthanasia as a justifiable release for terminally ill patients. And this year, California voters will be faced with a real life-and-death decision: the Euthanasia Initiative. Other states are expected to follow suit soon. Can euthanasia be accepted as a reasonable choice? Or must a patient's pain and suffering be prolonged in order to preserve life, without regard to the quality of that life? Are there viable alternatives? Can a patient in fact live out his or her days in relative comfort, with love and support from family, friends, and health care workers? A mind-opening new book from Humana Press, Euthanasia Is Not the Answer shows how terminally ill patients, especially those with cancer or AIDS, can live in comfort and dignity until death. The proper use of modern pain medications can ease the pain that drives them to despair and the request for euthanasia. And dedicated hospice care can allow them a meaningful life to the end. Written with intelligence, deep understanding based on the author's pioneering experience in hospice care--and, above all, sensitivity and respect--Euthanasia Is Not the Answer explores these alternatives, using case reports and powerful medical and socioeconomic analysis that soundly argue Dr. Cundiff's case. This important book adds new dimensions to our society's concern for the pain and suffering of the dying, clarifying the key issues associated with euthanasia and hospice, putting them into a new perspective, and showing that an approach based on easing pain and providing kind, caring support--rather than heroic high-tech medicine--is what is really needed for the terminally ill. Death with dignity can be a reality...without drastic measures! (Publisher)