Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die: The Interface of Social Science, Public Policy, and Medical Ethics

Pages: 201
Item #: 4316029
ISBN: 978-1-59147-102-8
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2004
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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In Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die: The Interface of Social Science, Public Policy, and Medical Ethics, Barry Rosenfeld examines how social science can inform policy and practice issues in the ongoing debates on end-of-life issues. While some important elements of the arguments for advocacy or opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide, such as moral and ethical concerns, are not necessarily the domain of science, others are amenable to scientific study, including such questions as whether untreated pain or depression fuel requests for assisted suicide.

This thoughtful, comprehensive, and balanced volume reviews and synthesizes what research has uncovered thus far, and provides rich context on the major legal, ethical, clinical, social policy, and psychological research issues involved in end-of-life decision-making. Topics include assessment of patient decision-making abilities, do-not-resuscitate orders, and advance directives. Chapters on experience with legalized assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands supplement those devoted to reviewing the psychosocial and medical literature on who seeks assisted suicide and why.

This book will be an invaluable resource for health psychology researchers interested in end-of-life policy research as well as for clinicians who treat terminally ill patients and struggle to understand the factors influencing their decisions.

Table of Contents


  1. History of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Philosophical, Religious, and Clinical Contexts
  2. Legal Status of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
  3. Do Not Resuscitate Orders, Living Wills, and Surrogate Decision Making
  4. Research Issues in Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: Methods and Opportunities for Future Research
  5. Influence of Depression and Psychosocial Factors on Physician-Assisted Suicide
  6. The Role of Pain and Other Physical Symptoms in the Desire for Hastened Death
  7. End-of-Life Decision-Making
  8. Lessons Learned from the Netherlands
  9. The Oregon Experiment
  10. Where Do We Go From Here?



About the Author

Author Bio

Barry Rosenfeld, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Fordham University, where he teaches in the doctoral program in clinical psychology and directs the specialization in forensic psychology. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in bio-ethics and consultation–liaison psychology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His research has encompassed a wide array of psychology and public policy issues, including numerous articles in leading psychology and medical journals. For the past decade, he has been studying issues related to physician-assisted suicide, medical decision making, and informed consent, and his work has culminated in this book. In addition to his diverse research interests, he maintains a private practice in clinical and forensic psychology and is a diplomate in forensic psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He lives in New York City with his wife and three beautiful daughters.