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Suicide: Right or Wrong? (second edition)
  1. Tim Helme
  1. Consultant Psychogeriatrician, Margate, Kent

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    Edited by John Donnelly, Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 1998, 335 pages, £14.99 sc.

    John Donnelly is a professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego in California. This volume is one of a series on contemporary issues of topical public interest ranging, for instance, from animal experimentation: the moral issues, to sexual harassment: confrontation and decisions. There is a separate title in the series on Euthanasia: The Moral Issues edited by the series editors, Robert Baird and Stuart Rosenbaum. This one deals specifically with the subject of suicide.

    After a comprehensive introduction, the book is set out in three parts. Part one: some historical background contains nine chapters with a careful selection of contrasting viewpoints, both ancient and modern. Seneca and St Thomas Aquinas, Hume and Kant, give way to a more parochially American perspective in the recent contributions. An interview with Jack Kevorkian is balanced by an article by Herbert Hendin, professor of psychiatry and Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There is a chapter by Joseph Fletcher, the situation …

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