The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia provides the most thorough overview of the ethical and legal issues raised by assisted suicide and euthanasia--as well as the most comprehensive argument against their legalization--ever published.
In clear terms accessible to the general reader, Neil Gorsuch thoroughly assesses the strengths and weaknesses of leading contemporary ethical arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia. He explores evidence and case histories from the Netherlands and Oregon, where the practices have been legalized. He analyzes libertarian and autonomy-based arguments for legalization as well as the impact of key U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the debate. And he examines the history and evolution of laws and attitudes regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia in American society.
After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia, Gorsuch builds a nuanced, novel, and powerful moral and legal argument against legalization, one based on a principle that, surprisingly, has largely been overlooked in the debate--the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is always wrong. At the same time, the argument Gorsuch develops leaves wide latitude for individual patient autonomy and the refusal of unwanted medical treatment and life-sustaining care, permitting intervention only in cases where an intention to kill is present.
Those on both sides of the assisted suicide question will find Gorsuch's analysis to be a thoughtful and stimulating contribution to the debate about one of the most controversial public policy issues of our day.
Neil M. Gorsuch is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He holds a doctorate in legal philosophy from the University of Oxford and a law degree from Harvard University. A former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, he has published widely on assisted suicide and many other contemporary legal problems. He previously served as Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General and as Acting Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and was a partner at the law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel.
"I believe that anyone who is concerned about the issue must engage with [Gorsuch's] arguments."--Raymond Tallis, Times Literary Supplement
"Gorsuch lucidly lays out the key ethical and philosophical arguments on both sides. . . . [This] is the most important book published so far in consideration of ethical and legal issues."--Kevin Yuill, Spiked Review of Books
"The author provides a thorough overview of the ethical and legal issues raised by assisted suicide and euthanasia, as well as the most comprehensive argument against their legalization."--Issues in Law & Medicine
"Gorsuch reviews the case law and the range of ethical and legal issues surrounding assisted suicide and offers a strong argument against legalization of these practices, even as he considers both positions in the debate."--Law & Social Inquiry
"For those who need insight into the part played by legislators and courts of justice in recent euthanasia discussions, Neil M. Gorsuch's book . . . is an excellent source. . . . [C]omprehensive and well argued."--Theo A. Boer, Journal of Religious Ethics
"Neil M. Gorsuch builds a powerful moral and legal argument against [assisted suicide's] legalization, one based on a principle that has largely been overlooked in the debate--the idea that human life is intrinsically valuable and that intentional killing is wrong."--New Oxford Review
"Thoroughly researched. . . . Gorsuch is especially successful when exploring the relevant legal cases raised by assisted-suicide and euthanasia advocacy."--Wesley J. Smith, First Things
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