The drama over whether or not to starve Terri Schiavo to death by removing her feeding tube transfixed America and rekindled the debate over the “right to die.” One of its most eloquent participants in this debate was bioethicist Wesley J. Smith.
In Forced Exit, Smith contests the claim of euthanasia advocates that assisted suicide would be restricted to a “last resort” for people already on the verge of death and in unbelievable agony. Providing evidence that many people whose deaths have been hastened by euthanasia were not, in fact, terminally ill, he argues that the movement to legalize assisted suicide would be a disaster for the most powerless; the disabled, the critically ill, the indigent. Forced Exit documents the terrible abuses already occurring in this country as the “death culture” begins to take hold–for example, the intentional starving, sometimes against their stated wishes, of patients whose lives are deemed by others not worth living.
Filled with new reporting and research, this expanded edition of a classic book makes a compelling case against legalized euthanasia and takes a closer look at the truly humane and compassionate alternatives–hospice care for the dying, more effective pain control, independent living for the disabled–that can transform a death wish into a desire to live.