Although I do not agree with some of the points against physician-assisted suicide that are well-presented in Barbara Olevitch’s book, I think she has comprehensively made her case against it, and that this book should be widely read. She gives nearly all the arguments that have been made by those who favor physician-assisted suicide and refutes their points of view with considerable data and with many relevant personal case histories.
Anyone who wants to become aware of both sides of this important question will find ample material in this well-written book. Both advocates and opponents of this issue can appreciably benefit from reading it.
Even more importantly, Barbara Olevitch includes in her book some important cognitive-behavioral methods of psychotherapy that can help alleviate the physical and mental suffering of many people who seriously consider getting physician-assisted suicide. With the help of these methods, they therefore may decide to continue living and leading a productive and enjoyable existence.
Olevitch carefully shows how many people who contemplate suicide, as well as others who are terminally ill or seriously disabled, can be helped to overcome their depressed condition. She optimistically indicates the possibilities and proven benefits of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and other forms of constructive therapy in helping disturbed and seriously handicapped people to make what I have called “a profound philosophical-emotional change.”
The author presents real hope to these severe sufferers and to the mental