Suggested Readings


Suggested Readings for "Legal Choices at the End of Life"

  1. Derek Humphry and Mary Clement, Freedom to Die (1998). Best overall history of right-to-die movement, including a chronology since 1906, text of Oregon Death with Dignity Act, good analysis of Supreme Court opinions of June 1997, etc.
  2. Physician Assisted Suicide, by Editors Margaret P. Battin, et al. (paper, 1998). Includes complete opinions in 2 Supreme Court cases of June 1997, plus the Philosophers’ Brief therein, and text of Oregon Act. Several highly illuminating essays, plus many supportive of status quo. (Battin’s paper suggests "self-deliverance" [or suicide] may in time become almost preferred way of dying!)
  3. Ronald Dworkin, Life’s Dominion. (paper, 1994).
  4. R. Dworkin, "Sex, Death and the Courts", in NY Rev of Bks, August 9, 1996. Good analysis of historicist vs. "principled" schools on 14th Amendment. This can be viewed on Internet at most public libraries via EBSCOHOST. See also his "Assisted Suicide: What the Court Really Said" in issue of Sep, 25, 1997.
  5. Anchor Bible Dictionary article on "Suicide". Amazingly comprehensive history of suicide in the West, religious arguments pro and con, etc.
  6. Encyclopedia Judaica, articles on "Suicide", "Penal Law (duress)", Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradyon, "Halakhah".
  7. W. D. Thies, "The Right to Die Alert" at http://www.essexethical.org/forumpad.html (under "Forum") his long article: "The Right to Terminal Sedation". (Latter also on Hemlock of NJ site.)
  8. James Rachels, "Active vs Passive Euthanasia" in Jan. 9, 1975 N.Eng.J.Med. (vol. 292:78-80). Three pages challenging whether there is a meaningful distinction in end-of-life context. (Available at most good hospital libraries.)
  9. Alfred Alvarez, The Savage God. (paper, avail. from Amazon for $9.56) Excellent history of suicide in West. Plus personal dimension of one who suffered from depression, knew Sylvia Plath, etc.
  10. Joseph Chuman, "Doctor Assisted Suicide" at http://www.ethicalculture.org/ethicsmatters/AAZVklpEFsvwBRtrv.html.
  11. Peter Singer, Rethinking Life and Death (1994). A neo-utilitarian or consequentialist approach to bio-ethics.
  12. Joseph Fletcher, Humanhood: Essays in Biomedial Ethics (1979). Good treatment of deontological ("rules-based") ethics vs. his outcome or consequentialist ethics. The father of "situational ethics".
  13. Plato’s account of Socrates’ last hours: Phaedo.
  14. Contrast the considered long-term "pro-choice" position of NY Times in news articles and editorials (see "Death and Dying" in NY Times Index) w. The Economist’s resistance to PAD and euthanasia—the latter via EBSCOHOST ("suicide"). But latter has good long editorial on effect of legalizing euthanasia on suicide, Oct. 16, 1999.
  15. W. D. Thies, "On the Religious Character of Dying": sermon at Unitarian Church in Summit, July 15, 2001. Available at its site: www.uc.summit.nj.uua.org – click on "Sermons" and then name. Argues that PAD is First Amend’t protected.
  16. N. L. Cantor, "Twenty-Five Years After Quinlan: A Review of the Jurisprudence of Death and Dying, Jnl of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 29 (2001): 182-196. An encyclopedic overview of choices at the end of life.
September 2001