The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time

The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time

The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time

The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time

Synopsis

This work is an introductory treatment of issues and options in social and bioethics which center on the end of life. The purpose of Moreland and Geisler's book is to offer a beginning survey of these issues to someone unfamiliar with philosophy. The book simplifies and summarizes various end-of-life topics without being simplistic or caricaturing different viewpoints, even though the authors' own viewpoint is made perfectly clear. The major intention of this book is to make the reader think more clearly and deeply about the important issues discussed between its covers.

Excerpt

It was a rainy day in November as Mary drove away from the nursing home. Her father had died two months earlier and Mary's mother entered the Rockport Garden Nursing Home three weeks later. But her mother, who had been on renal dialysis for two years, wasn't adjusting well to her new surroundings. in fact, just that morning her mother had stated her intention to forgo any further dialysis treatments and die in peace. Life, she said, was no longer worth living. As Mary drove away that day, her heart was flooded with emotions and her mind was filled with questions: Why does Mother want to commit suicide? What she is doing is wrong. Doesn't she see that? But wouldn't it also be wrong to force Mother to continue living against her will? After all, she seemed to know what she was doing. Should I go along with her request or should I try to prevent her from taking her own life in this way?

Mary's dilemma is a serious one. It involves deep emotional and psychological tensions. Most of us can sympathize with the pain of loosing a loved one under such circumstances. But there is another aspect of Mary's dilemma which, in one form or another, we all experience daily: Mary is facing an ethical problem which requires an ethical solution. She wants to know what she ought to do. Ethical issues and choices are not . . .

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