Fatal Freedom

  • Thomas Szasz
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Beschrijving
Fatal Freedom is an eloquent defense of every individual's right to choose a voluntary death. The author, a renowned psychiatrist, believes that we can speak about suicide calmly and rationally, as he does in this book, and that we can ultimately accept suicide as part of the human condition. By maintaining statutes that determine that voluntary death is not legal, our society is forfeiting one of its basic freedoms and causing the psychiatric/medical establishment to treat individuals in a manner that is disturbingly inhumane according to Dr. Szasz. His important work asks and points to clear, intelligent answers to some of the most significant ethical questions of our time: * Is suicide a voluntary act? * Should physicians be permitted to prevent it? * Should they be authorized to abet it? The author's thoughtful analysis of these questions consistently holds forth patient autonomy as paramount; therefore, he argues, patients should not be prevented from exercising their free will, nor should physicians be permitted to enter the process by prescribing or providing the means for voluntary death. Dr. Szasz predicts that we will look back at our present prohibitory policies toward suicide with the same amazed disapproval with which we regard past policies toward homosexuality, masturbation, and birth control. This comparison with other practices that started as sins, became crimes, then were regarded as mental illnesses, and are now becoming more widely accepted, opens up the discussion and understanding of suicide in a historical context. The book explores attitudes toward suicide held by the ancient Greeks and Romans, through early Christianity and the Reformation, to the advent of modern psychiatry and contemporary society as a whole. Our tendency to define disapproved behaviors as diseases has created a psychiatric establishment that exerts far too much influence over how and when we choose to die. Just as we have come to accept the individual's right to birth control, so too must we accept his right to death control before we can call our society humane or free.
Inhoudsopgave
Preface Speaking of Suicide: Our Self-Mutilated Vocabulary Constructing Suicide: What Counts as Killing Oneself? Excusing Suicide: The Fateful Evasion "Preventing" Suicide: "Saving" Lives Prescribing Suicide: Death as Treatment Perverting Suicide: Killing as Treatment Rethinking Suicide: Death Control, The Final Responsibility Appendix Bibliography Indexes
Review
"This is a book for all that wish to expand their awareness of the historical and modern attitudes toward suicide, and explore differing views on this sensitive topic. Definitely written and efficiently organized, this book would be of interest to medical and legal professionals, the clergy, students of these disciplines, as well as lay people. The book is interesting, easy to read and understand."-Risk: Health, Safety, & Environment "Thomas Szasz advances his defense of autonomy and liberty by speaking out for the right to suicide. Szasz has written many provocative and courageous books. He has done so again."-Ideas on Liberty "An intelligent critique of the cultural misunderstanding of suicide....Szasz is particularly persuasive in hacking through the thicket of medical ethics in "right to die" circumstances."-Kirkus Reviews "One can read this book from the perspective of moral philosophy, political science or clinical medicine....Fatal Freedom is a very serviceable book for physicians, who in one way or the other have to deal with suicide in their medical practice."-Medical Sentinel ?Thomas Szasz advances his defense of autonomy and liberty by speaking out for the right to suicide. Szasz has written many provocative and courageous books. He has done so again.?-Ideas on Liberty ?An intelligent critique of the cultural misunderstanding of suicide....Szasz is particularly persuasive in hacking through the thicket of medical ethics in "right to die" circumstances.?-Kirkus Reviews ?One can read this book from the perspective of moral philosophy, political science or clinical medicine....Fatal Freedom is a very serviceable book for physicians, who in one way or the other have to deal with suicide in their medical practice.?-Medical Sentinel ?This is a book for all that wish to expand their awareness of the historical and modern attitudes toward suicide, and explore differing views on this sensitive topic. Definitely written and efficiently organized, this book would be of interest to medical and legal professionals, the clergy, students of these disciplines, as well as lay people. The book is interesting, easy to read and understand.?-Risk: Health, Safety, & Environment "Thomas Szasz is one of the great independent minds of our age. Once again he has made us think, and about a central moral problem of human existence."-Geoffrey Wheatcroft, journalist and author "Szasz demonstrates cogently the rhetoric of suicide by which the decision to end one's life is erroneously depicted as a problem or a disease, which must be solved or cured."-Richard E. Vatz Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, Towson University "This is an important book written with the clarity and unassailable logic which we have come to associate with Szasz. It is a work of scholarship which is immediately accessible and addresses a major issue in our society. It must be read!"-Professor James McCormick Trinity College, University of Dublin "Szasz strikes yet another blow for clarity, dignity, and liberty. When we finally break out of our bad habit of medicalizing moral choice, Thomas Szasz will garner well-earned laurels for having shown us that tyranny administered by doctors with good bedside manners is tyranny nonetheless."-Sheldon Richman, Editor The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty "Fatal Freedom deepens Szasz's commitment and our understanding of what might be called the libertarian tradition. In considering the theme of suicide as part of the larger question of the place of State power in individual decision-making he has made a genuine contribution in advancing the current discourse on matters of profound moment to us all."-Irving Louis Horowitz Professor of Sociology & Political Science Rutgers University
Productdetails
Uitgavejaar 1999
ISBN 9780275966461
Verschijningsdatum 30 sep. 1999
Omvang 192
Auteur(s) Thomas Szasz
Bindwijze Gebonden
Taal Engels

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