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books Euthanasia - recommended reading.

See also: Journal articles.


A selected list of some key euthanasia-related books, compiled by

  • Albery, N The Natural Death Handbook. Pbk 224pp £9.99GBP Published by Virgin Books 1993. Excellent coverage of various topics surrounding death, handled in a constructive and original manner. Good source references. Also on-line.

  • Albery, N & Mezey, M (eds). Re-Inventing Society: A Bumper Book of Best Ideas, Schemes and Speculations. Pbk 280pp £14.85GBP Institute for Social Inventions 1994. Includes many creative and thought-provoking ideas about dying.

  • Ariés, P Western Attitudes toward Death from the Middle Ages to the Present. Pbk 111pp Marion Boyars Publishers 1994. Four essays on the changing attitudes to death in Western civilisation under the influence of industrialisation, mass culture and economic materialism.

  • Barnard, C Good Life, Good Death - a Doctor's Case for Euthanasia and Suicide. Hbk 146pp Prentice-Hall 1980. Bold and provocative work by the famous heart surgeon.

  • Barr, A, Biggar, J, Dalgleish, A & Stevens, H Drafting Wills in Scotland. Hbk 519pp £95GBP Butterworths/The Law Society of Scotland. Standard Scottish reference work for lawyers. Includes the VESS Living Will.

  • Battin, M The Least Worst Death. Hbk 305pp Oxford University Press. Collection of essays by a well-known ethicist. Contains some errors relating to the right-to-die movement, but otherwise very sound.

  • Beauchamp T, Childress J Principles of Biomedical Ethics (4th Edition). Pbk 546pp £16.95GBP Oxford University Press 1994. One of the modern "classics" of bioethics, explaining methods of analysing ethical dilemmas according to the "four principles" of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice.

  • Brazier M. Medicine, Patients & the Law. Pbk 696pp £9.99GBP Penguin Books 2nd edition 1992. Excellent basic textbook on medical law.

  • British Medical Association Medical Ethics Today. Pbk 374pp BMJ 1993. Very readable account of the practice of medical ethics. Supportive of living wills.

  • British Medical Association Advance Statements about Medical Treatment. Pbk 40pp+insert (16pp) £4.95GBP BMJ Publishing Group 1995. The BMA's excellent Code of Practice on Living Wills. Also available from VESS.

  • Carmichael, K Ceremony of Innocence - Tears, Power & Protest. Pbk 203pp Powerful and inspiring examination of attitudes to grief and dying, written by a leading broadcaster who is also the Vice-Convener of the VESS Executive Committee.

  • Docker C Collected Living Wills. Pbk. First international collection of living will documents.

  • Docker C, Smith C Departing Drugs Pbk 68pp. First international scientifically researched manual on self-deliverance. Includes a personalised "Do Not Resuscitate" note, an extensive glossary, and a country-by-country listing. Available to established members of a right-to-die organsiation only. Available from Exit. Also available in German. Other languages in press.

  • Docker C, Smith C, Hofsess J, Dunn B Beyond Final Exit Pbk 115pp 1995. Collection of essays examining the evidence on various methods of self-deliverance. Available from Exit.

  • Downie, R The Healing Arts: An Oxford Illustrated Anthology. Hbk 334pp £18.99GBP Oxford University Press 1994. A celebration of the part played by medicine in the development of the arts. A wonderful fireside book or gift. Copiously illustrated.

  • Downie R & Calman K. Healthy Respect - Ethics in Health Care. Pbk 291pp £13.95GBP Oxford University Press 2nd edition 1994. Brillian book on practical ethics for doctors and health care workers.

  • Downie R & Charlton B. The Making of a Doctor. Hbk 204pp £24.50 Oxford University Press 1992. Highly recommended.

  • Fletcher N, Holt J, Brazier M, Harris J. Ethics, Law & Nursing. Pbk 185pp £14.99 Manchester University Press 1995. Competent, multidisciplinary guide.

  • Gillon R. Philosophical Medical Ethics. Pbk 190pp £16.50GBP John Wiley & Sons 1985. Very straightforward, authoritative and readable introduction to health care ethics.

  • Glover, J Causing Death and Saving Lives. Pbk 328pp Penguin. Moral philosopher examines a range of issues including euthanasia.

  • Kennedy, I. Treat Me Right - Essays in Medical Law & Ethics. Pbk 428pp £17.95GBP Clarendon Press (OUP) 1994.

  • Kennedy, I & Grubb, A Medical Law - Text With Materials (2nd Edition). Hbk 1423pp £38.95GBP Butterworths 1994. Includes an analytical overview of all the major right-to-die cases in Britain, with large sections from the proceedings.

  • Kennedy, L Euthanasia - the Good Death. Pbk 56pp £3.99GBP Chatto & Windus 1990. Highly readable case for euthanasia from this well-known broadcaster in the Chatto Counterblast series.

  • Kevorkian, J Prescription: Medicine. Hbk 268pp Prometheus Books 1991. Inventor of the controversial "suicide machine", Dr. Kevorkian outlines his views on rational self-deliverance. Also includes much interesting historical detail on methods of capital punishment, related with colour and flair.

  • Kilner J Who Lives? Who Dies? - Ethical Criteria in Patient Selection. Hbk 359pp Yale University Press. An outstanding in-depth analysis of the ethics of health rationing.

  • Kuhse, H The Sanctity-of-Life Doctrine in Medicine. Hbk 236pp Oxford University Press 1987. Comprehensive critique from a bioethicist.

  • Kuhse, H (ed) Willing to Listen - Wanting to Die. Pbk 277pp AU$16.95 Penguin 1994. Collection of very different perspectives on death and dignity.

  • The Law Society & the British Medical Association. Assessment of Mental Capacity - Guidance for Doctors & Lawyers. Pbk 152pp British Medical Association 1995.

  • Little, S And Who Should Forbid Them! Pbk 28pp Published by VESS 1989. Moving collection of real cases compiled from her experience as Chairman before her own death. Available from VESS.

  • Logue, B Last Rights - Death Control and the Elderly in America. Hbk 372pp Maxwell MacMillan 1993. Well-researched overview written by a demographer. One of the few extensive coverages by a social scientist of the right to die question.

  • van der Maas, P, van Delden, J, Pijnenborg, L Euthanasia and other Medical Decisions Concerning the End of Life. Hbk 262pp ·120GBP (approx) Elsevier 1992. Probably the best book published on such facts and statistics in the Netherlands.

  • McLean, S (ed.) Death, Dying & the Law. Hbk £37.50GBP Dartmouth 1996. Some outstanding essays on various aspects of how progress may realistically be achieved.
    Buy the book today!

  • McLean, S (ed.) Contemporary Issues in Law, Medicine and Ethics. Hbk £42.50GBP Dartmouth 1996. Covers living wills, PVS, organ transplants and various other issues. Fairly detailed analysis of the history, theory, legalities and future potential (and limitations) of living wills (by Chris Docker).
    Buy the book today!

  • McLean, S, Britton, A Sometimes a Small Victory . Pbk £9.99 GBP inc UK postage. Institute of Law & Ethics in Medicine, Glasgow University 1996. Results of a year-long investigation into the feasibility of legal reform to allow physician assisted suicide, including multi-disciplinary analysis, parliamentary debates, surveys, draft bill (legislative template).

  • Noll, P In the Face of Death. Pbk 254pp £5.99GBP Penguin 1990. Courageous autobiography of a lawyer with cancer who decided to forego life-sustaining treatment.

  • Nuland, S How We Die. Hbk 278pp £15.99GBP Chatto & Windus. Graphic descriptions of exactly what happens during the dying phase of comon killer diseases.

  • Ogden, R Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & AIDS. Pbk 135pp Perreault Goedman Publishing 1994. Outstanding thesis on assisted suicide between AIDS patients and their "buddies." Ogden was faced with a court subpoena to give evidence on his anonymised case studies but he refused to name names.

  • Rachels, J The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality. Pbk 204pp Oxford University Press 1986. An examination of the ideas and assumptions behind the proscription on killing.

  • Randall, F, & Downie, R. Palliative Care Ethics - A Good Companion Pbk, 202pp Oxford University Press 1996. Remarkable co-authorship between a palliative care specialist (who is strongly opposed to the "right to die") and a moral philosopher (who supports it). The book doesn't examine their differences, it concentrates on areas in which consensus could be (and has been) achieved. The section on living wills, for instance, is impressive for its lack of bias.

  • Seguin, M A Gentle Death. Pbk 249pp Key Porter Books 1994. Moving work by a registered nurse who networks with professionals in specific cases to ensure dying with dignity. Ms Seguin is the Executive Director of Canada's Dying In Dignity Organisation.

  • Shavelson L. A Chosen Death - The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide. Hbk 240pp Simon & Schuster 1995.

  • Singer, P Rethinking Life & Death - The Collapse of our Traditional Ethics. Pbk, 256pp £7.99GBP Oxford University Press 1995. Utilitarian approach with intersting examination of many case histories.

    Enquiries on particular areas or books are welcome. Exit does not retail or distribute any titles except where indicated.

  • © 1996-2000 Chris Docker
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