ABC-CLIO

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Global Views on Choosing to End Life

by Michael J. Cholbi, PhD, Editor

 

Assisted dying is now legal in some European countries and U.S. states as well as in Canada and South Africa, but controversy and opposition continue.

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Cover image for Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

January 2017

Praeger

Pages 409
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Health & Wellness/General
  Current Events and Issues/Health and Medicine

This book addresses key historical, scientific, legal, and philosophical issues surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States as well as in other countries and cultures.

Euthanasia was practiced by Greek physicians as early as 500 BC. In the 20th century, legal and ethical controversies surrounding assisted dying exploded. Many religions and medical organizations led the way in opposition, citing the incompatibility of assisted dying with various religious traditions and with the obligations of medical personnel toward their patients. Today, these practices remain highly controversial both in the United States and around the world.

Comprising contributions from an international group of experts, this book thoroughly investigates euthanasia and assisted suicide from an interdisciplinary and global perspective. It presents the ethical arguments for and against assisted dying; highlights how assisted dying is perceived in various cultural and philosophical traditions—for example, South and East Asian cultures, Latin American perspectives, and religions including Islam and Christianity; and considers how assisted dying has both shaped and been shaped by the emergence of professionalized bioethics. Readers will also learn about the most controversial issues related to assisted dying, such as pediatric euthanasia, assisted dying for organ transplantation, and "suicide tourism," and examine concerns relating to assisted dying for racial minorities, children, and the disabled.

Features

  • Addresses the extended history of debates regarding the ethical justifiability of assisted suicide and euthanasia
  • Analyzes assisted suicide and euthanasia in many cultural, philosophical, and religious traditions
  • Provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the subject, including coverage of topics such as the depictions of assisted dying in popular culture, that enables a more complete understanding of the emotionally charged controversy surrounding this subject
  • Spotlights the latest medical and scientific developments in euthanasia and examines the role of technology in the ethical debates on assisted dying
Author Info

Michael J. Cholbi, PhD, is professor of philosophy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He received his doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has published a dozen articles on ethical issues relating to suicide and the right to die, including articles in the Journal of Moral Philosophy, Journal of Ethics, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Bioethics, and the Journal of Medical Ethics. Cholbi is author of the entries on suicide in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and International Encyclopedia of Ethics. His 2011 book, Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions, was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is coeditor of New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia and editor of Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. He is currently completing the first book-length treatment of the ethics of grief.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Overall this title is an accessible and cogent introduction to the topic. . . . VERDICT A worthwhile addition for academic collections, especially for health sciences/medical students and upper-level undergraduates."—Library Journal

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