With the growing trend toward acceptance of physician-assisted suicide, even Christians are beginning to factor the possibility into their ethical understandings. Would it not be compassionate to acquiesce in a terminally ill patient's request to end it all? Arthur J. Dyck says no, and this book clearly and persuasively lays out his reasons for saying so.
Dyck begins by framing the question in largely secular terms, drawing on philosophers such as Kant and Hobbes and on the long Western tradition that prohibits killing and places a high value on human life. He critiques current arguments for assisted suicide by pointing out how its proponents see human beings as purely autonomous agents, ignoring the ways in which we are related to one another in community.
Dyck then spells out what he believes to be the moral basis -- and responsibility -- for a patient's choosing to struggle against death. In Dyck's view, individuals who do not request assisted suicide serve a very real purpose. Finally, Dyck outlines a Christian response to assisted suicide, showing why faith demands faithfulness even unto the end -- on the part of both the dying and those who care for them.
In the course of his writing, Dyck staunchly maintains that assisted suicide is unacceptable in any and all circumstances. The practice denies terminally ill patients the possibility of recovery and robs them of the chance to rethink the meaning of their lives or to achieve spiritual growth. Furthermore, because it undermines the shared moral structure that makes laws against homicide and suicide possible, assisted suicide bodes ill for society as a whole.
Offering a full-orbed discussion of assistedsuicide, "Life's Worth is a must-read for anyone grappling with this crucial contemporary topic.