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Death & Dignity : Making Choices and Taking Charge - Timothy E. Quill

Death & Dignity

Making Choices and Taking Charge

Paperback Published: 17th May 1994
ISBN: 9780393311402
Number Of Pages: 256

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Dr. Timothy Quill put his career in danger when he wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that he had assisted a terminally ill patient in suicide - at her request - by prescribing pills and letting her know how to take a lethal dose. He had treated "Diane" for many years, had seen her through other serious illnesses, and had responded to her desire to leave this world with her dignity still intact. But "Diane's" story was not unique. Dr. Quill received over 2,000 letters from people who read his article, and was confided in by many other persons who had witnessed severe end-of-life suffering. By sharing some of these stories, Dr. Quill hopes to increase the choices available to dying patients. Death and Dignity is about taking charge of your illness, no matter how serious. It emphasizes the necessity for honest dialogue between you and your doctor, including a thorough discussion of your feelings about death and dying. Doctors and patients must work together to investigate all health care options, from the most aggressive to those that emphasize comfort and the relief of suffering. Ultimately, the patient's values and personal goals must guide all medical choices, particularly toward the end of life. Quill advocates, as did Norman Cousins in Anatomy of an Illness, that the patient must be an active participant in the process whether the decision is to fight the illness or to come to terms with death when all reasonable options are exhausted. Through his years of practicing medicine, Dr. Quill has come to know that some incurably ill patients live beyond the point where they can find emotional or spiritual meaning in their lives. He believes that physician-assisted suicide shouldbe an option when requested by those who suffer intolerably in spite of the best efforts of their doctor, their family, and themselves. He has seen the relief that dying can bring when living has become a nightmare with no end in sight. Dr. Quill proposes criteria that would guid

A bold approach to medicine.--Gary C. Rummier

Preface: Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making (reprinted from the New England Journal of Medicine)p. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 17
Introductionp. 19
Early Brushes with Death: Formative Experiences as a Resident and Grandsonp. 29
The Hippocratic Oath and the Care of the Dying: Reconsidering Medicine's Goals and Valuesp. 43
Death or Chi-Chi?: The Burdens of Aggressive Medical Treatmentp. 57
Comfort Care: A Humane Alternativep. 76
The Limitations of Comfort Care: Double Effects, Double Binds, and Double Standardsp. 98
Defining Moments: Compassion and Conflicting Responsibilitiesp. 121
Public Policy: Exploring a Wider Range of Options for the Dyingp. 138
Physician-Assisted Suicide: Potential Clinical Criteriap. 155
Background for Advance Directives: What Can Happen If I Lose Mental Capacity in the Future?p. 176
Advance Directives: Living Will or Health Care Proxy?p. 189
Challenges and Final Thoughtsp. 203
Appendix Advance Directives: Definitions, Questions and Answers, Sample Formsp. 217
Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393311402
ISBN-10: 0393311406
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 17th May 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.57 x 13.72  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.34