Choosing To Live, Choosing To Die: The Complexities of Assisted Dying

Orca. Sept. 2019. 176p. glossary. index. photos. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781459818897.
Gr 6 Up–This comprehensive guide helps teens learn about and understand the controversial issue of medical assistance in dying. In the first chapter, Tate introduces the concept of dying and shares her own family’s experience. Tate then defines and explains the four major types of medically assisted death. She addresses how the law, values, morals, and ethics inevitably impact a person’s options when making end-of-life decisions. The book also introduces the terms palliative care and hospice care. In addition to pertinent vocabulary, the book includes identification where medical assistance in dying (MAiD) is legal worldwide and what arguments exist in defense of legalizing it; an examination of the medical and financial issues doctors face; a look at how religion, ethics, and activism influence or impede change; and a breakdown of pop culture depictions of assisted suicide. The powerful quotes, colorful and evocative illustrations, numerous case studies, and photographs throughout provide further context and reaffirm the complexity of the issue.
VERDICT Tate’s sprawling work is a fascinating guide that belongs in all middle school, high school, and public libraries. This resource will help tweens and teens looking to better understand death and dying for personal or academic purposes.

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