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Aiming to kill: the ethics of suicide and euthanasia
  1. J Coggon

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    Authored by Nigel Biggar, Longman and Todd: Published by Darton, 2004, £10.95 (paper back), pp 220. ISBN 0-232-52406-8

    The literature on euthanasia and suicide is substantial and ever growing. In his book Aiming to kill, Nigel Biggar, a theologian, adds to this something that is hard to come across, in a concise but comprehensive form. His book explores the theological basis of the sanctity of life doctrine: rather than merely asserting what the doctrine demands, simply citing as authority that it is a traditional and fundamental principle, he offers an account of its historical and modern-day rationale.

    The book is divided into four unequal parts, whose quality varies. These chapters are designed to provide: firstly, the appropriate sociolegal and ethical context; secondly, an overview and analysis of arguments relating to the value of life; thirdly, an overview and analysis of arguments on the morality of killing; and finally, a section drawn from the conclusions of previous chapters and expounding the threat of the “slippery slope”.

    Biggar does not claim to come into the debate without …

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