Introduces readers to ordinary people who are fighting to find dignity and authenticity in the final hours of their lives
Product Code: 5891
ISBN: 9781250201461
Format: Hardback
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published Date: 03/02/2021
Pages: 352
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $27.99

More states and countries are passing right-to-die laws that allow the sick and suffering to end their lives at pre-planned moments, with the help of physicians. But even where these laws exist, they leave many people behind. The Inevitable moves beyond margins of the law to the people who are meticulously planning their final hours—far from medical offices, legislative chambers, hospital ethics committees, and polite conversation. It also shines a light on the people who help them: loved ones and, sometimes, clandestine groups on the Internet that together form the “euthanasia underground.”

Katie Engelhart, a veteran journalist, focuses on six people representing different aspects of the right to die debate. Two are doctors: a California physician who runs a boutique assisted death clinic and has written more lethal prescriptions than anyone else in the U.S.; an Australian named Philip Nitschke who lost his medical license for teaching people how to end their lives painlessly and peacefully at “DIY Death” workshops. The other four chapters belong to people who said they wanted to die because they were suffering unbearably—of old age, chronic illness, dementia, and mental anguish—and saw suicide as their only option.

Spanning North America, Europe, and Australia, The Inevitable offers a deeply reported and fearless look at a morally tangled subject. It introduces readers to ordinary people who are fighting to find dignity and authenticity in the final hours of their lives.


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“A remarkably nuanced, empathetic, and well-crafted work of journalism ... Engelhart gives eloquent voice to different sides of the intricate arguments.”—Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker

“[A] searching, compassionate narrative…Evenhandedly and without undue criticism, Engelhart brings forth the counterarguments...but she offers enough convincing evidence about the efficacy and ethical standing of the right-to-die movement that many readers will be persuaded of its value to society.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A must-read for anyone concerned about quality of life at the end of life.”—Library Journal, starred review

“Through exhaustive reporting, Engelhart unflinchingly captures unsettling exit scenes that force readers to think about whether people must fulfill a ‘duty to live’ or whether they should be able to choose what they consider to be ‘dignity in dying.’”—Booklist

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