Patient-Directed Dying

A Call for Legalized Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill

by Tom Preston M.D.



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/26/2007

Recognition Programs

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 204
ISBN : 9781583484616
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 204
ISBN : 9780595877515

About the Book

Author Tom Preston, MD, and his terminally ill patients and their families often face the controversial predicament of how to die when suffering has been medically extended. Through their conversations, they demonstrate how dying is a process, how physicians alter when and how we die, and why "natural" death is a misnomer after medical interventions prolong the process. Their cases also explain why patients-not physicians or others-should be able to make their own decisions about when and how to die.

Dr. Preston gives compelling reasons as to why aid-in-dying is not suicide when used by terminally ill patients, and why physicians who help them die are not assisting suicide. He shows us the ethical aspects of aid-in-dying and how they are consistent with other current and legal medical practices that help patients end their suffering. He debunks claims that legalized aid-in-dying would be abused for financial, social, or political reasons. Dr. Preston also shows how outdated cultural attitudes impede society's understanding of how we die, why many physicians withdraw from their dying patients, and how the sanctity-of-life principle has become distorted to obstruct physician assisted deaths.

Patient-Directed Dying is a powerful manifesto calling for mercy and reason in helping terminally ill patients die a peaceful death.

About the Author

TomPreston, MD, was a professor of medicine at the University of Washington for more than twenty years. He has appeared on numerous national television programs, and his articles about medicine have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times, among others. He lives in Seattle, Washington.