Having a good death is our final human right, argues Sandra Martin in this updated and expanded version of her bestselling and award-winning social history of the right to die movement in Canada and around the world.
Winner of the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, finalist for both the Donner Prize in Public Policy and the Dafoe Prize for History, A Good Death has a new chapter on Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Law. The law allows mentally competent adults, who are suffering grievously from incurable conditions, to ask for a doctor’s help in ending their lives.
Does the law go far enough? No, says Martin. She delivers compelling stories about the patients the law ignores: people with life-crushing diseases who are condemned to suffer because their natural deaths are not reasonably foreseeable. With a clear analytical eye, she exposes the law’s shortcomings and outlines constitutional challenges, including the presumed right of publicly-funded faith-based institutions to deny suffering patients a legal medical service.
Martin argues that Canada can set an example for the world if it can strike a balance between compassion for the suffering and protection of the vulnerable, between individual choice and social responsibility. A Good Death asks the tough question none of us can avoid: How do you want to die? The answer will change your life—and your death.
“[An] excellent new book. . . .The timeliness is hard to overstate.” —The Globe and Mail
“What truly distinguishes this book is the reportage on individuals and families who have fought to arrange for a better death. . . . These first-hand experiences are the beating heart of a timely and powerful examination.” —2017 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction Jury Citation