Thursday, September 12, 2013
In Pennsylvania, as I blogged last month, we're following the high-profile prosecution of a daughter for allegedly assisting in the suicide of her 93-year-old father, who was on hospice when he reportedly ingested a fatal dose of morphine.
For an alternative perspective on end-of-life decisions, Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death has just been released by publisher Scribner. Katy Butler, the author, expands on an earlier article she wrote for New York Times Magazine, recounting her education about medicine, death and her journey with her father following a major stroke, his heartbeat preserved by a relenteless pacemaker, even as his mind and will-to-live were devastated by dementia.
Her book is already receiving high profile accolades, including "Letting Go," Stanford Professor Abraham Verghesse's thoughtful essay in the New York Times.
Hat tip to Penn State Law Professor Laurel Terry for spotting the Verghesse book review.
We're confronting major social issues in the USA, including movement toward national recognition of same-sex marriages. Is it possible we are also ready to expand consideration of legal recognition of rights for very ill persons to choose their own death?