"A Time to Die" by Charles McKhann

A Time to Die The Place for Physician Assistance Charles McKhann

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
11 Jul 2000
ISBN:
9780300086980
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
288 pages: 210 x 140mm

This book is written for all those who are concerned about how their life may end—and who wish to die without unnecessary suffering. Dr. Charles F. McKhann discusses many aspects of physician-assisted dying and explains why he thinks it should be made legally available under certain circumstances.

Dr. McKhann, a specialist in cancer surgery, has conducted in-depth interviews with people who were dying from a variety of illnesses and with the physicians who cared for them. Drawing on these interviews and on his own experiences as a physician, he looks at the dying process as it is encountered in painful and debilitating diseases and at the needs of patients and their families. Dr. McKhann presents the case for rational suicide, comparing a failed suicide attempt in the United States with a planned death in the Netherlands and illustrating the differences in approach and attitudes. He explains the ways in which physician assistance is already taking place and considers the physician`s personal and professional concerns. And he reflects on relevant religious, moral, legal, and public-policy issues that are currently so widely debated. His thought-provoking book is a valuable resource not only for the general public but also for compassionate physicians who attend people with fatal diseases and for lawmakers who strive for understanding and courage in dealing with this new challenge.

Recognized with a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication given by the New England American Medical Writers Association Chapter


 

?McKann offers a comprehensive and thoughtful guide to the hotly contested issue of physician-assisted death. The author draws on extensive clinical experience in the treatment of patients with cancer, detailed interviews with seriously ill patients and the clinicians who care for them, and a thorough survey of the literature. He argues that it is ethical as a last resort for the physicians to help dying patients hasten their deaths by prescribing or administering lethal medications in response to their resolute requests, and that physician-assisted death should be legalized. . . . However, he does not neglect or simplify its practical and moral complexities. By stimulating thought and clarifying the range of clinical, ethical, and social issues associated with physician-assisted dying, the book should be very helpful to those who are uncertain about where they stand on this deeply challenging issue.??Franklin G. Miller, New England Journal of Medicine


?This powerful and provocative book is a comprehensive and thoughtful discussion by a wise clinician of physician-assisted dying.??William J. Winslade, author of Confronting Traumatic Brain Injury: Devastation, Hope, and Healing


"This is an excellent book that reflects the views of a compassionate and experienced clinician on an issue that is of growing concern in our nation. It deserves to be read by all physicians whose work brings them into contact with terminally ill patients."?Judd Marmor, Medicine & Behavior


"Whether you believe in physician-assisted dying or abhor it, or like many, find yourself uncertain, you will find this book to be a compelling and thorough examination of the subject by a doctor who brings the best of physicianly inquiry and compassion to his subject."?Harold I. Schwartz, Connecticut Medicine


"An excellent book that reflects the views of a compassionate and experienced clinician on an issue that is of growing concern in our nation. It deserves to be read by all physicians whose work brings them into contact with terminally ill patients. In addition, it could be of interest to the increasing number of elderly people and their families who may have to confront this issue at some point in their lives."?Judd Marmor, Psychiatric Times


"Do patients have the right to die and, if so, do physicians have the right to assist them? In this timely work, McKann considers the many legal and ethical issues surrounding physician-assisted dying. . . . With thoughtful regard to these issues and the firsthand experience of those who care for seriously ill patients, McKann develops a cogent and compelling argument for physician-assisted dying in particular circumstances. Written in a clear and easy style with chapter notes, this book is recommended for all academic audiences, undergraduate through faculty, as an attentive resource on end-of life concerns."?Choice


?A Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance [is] both a thoughtful advocacy for legally empowering the medical profession to do what it has been doing for centuries and a rational argument for expanding that role even further. . . . In a remarkably organized fashion, considering the nebulous nature of the many issues comprising these topics, Dr. McKann thoughtfully examines the moral, societal, and legal aspects of assisted dying. . . . A compelling read that is well researched, controversial, and unobtrusively personal, reminiscent of cardiologist Lofty Basta?s examination of similar issues in A Graceful Exit.??John T. Sinnott, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)


?[The author] presents the case for physician-assisted dying in an organized way, touching on every aspect of the sometimes acrimonious debate on the subject, giving attention to the comments and reasoning of opponents as well as supporters.??Melvyn H. Schreiber, Medical Humanities Review


"This powerful and provocative book is a comprehensive and thoughtful discussion by a wise clinician of physician-assisted dying."?William J. Winslade, author of Confronting Traumatic Brain Injury: Devastation, Hope, and Healing


Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 1997 by Choice Magazine


"Can rational patients want to die? Should compassionate physicians assist them? Dr. Charles F. McKhann answers both questions in the affirmative, using his clinical expertise, interviews from the U.S. and the Netherlands, and a wide range of medical literature."?Timothy E. Quill, M.D.