This is a book that is fitting for our time and it is about a topic that many people are very passionate about. It is about the right to a dignified death.
The book is well argued with actual cases of people who were courageous enough to elicit a conversation about this about the governmental level.
Medical ethicists have been arguing both for and against euthanasia for decades. But it not until recently that the government of Canada has become involved at all levels to ensure that people have this right to end their life if they choose to against a list of checks and balances.
The time-honored question is Who owns my life anyways?
Sue Rodriguez was dying of a form of ALS in 1993 when she asked the Supreme court of Canada Who Owns My Life? She was fighting for the right to a physician-assisted death before she became fully paralyzed.
At the same time, assisted suicide could result in jail time for the participating physician. In a narrow decision, Rodriguez lost her case. She died in 1994.
In a historic reversal, in 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada changed its mind. The court ruled that Canadians suffering unbearably from illness or disease do not have a duty to live.
The landmark, unanimous decision was the culmination of two decades of debate from the public. The shift was the result of the efforts of courageous Canadians who asked for the right to a dignified death.
Being a philosopher who is interested in medical ethics, I believe this is quite a thorny issue with a lot of variables that still need to be discussed. Having this law has opened the possibility of physician assisted death for those who want it.
However, it is important for all Canadians to realize that if they oppose this Bill in favour of physician-assisted suicide that they still have a right to state that they want to live. After all, it is their life and they own it.
This is a great book that will help Canadians come to their own end of life plans.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth