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Biomedical Ethics Reviews, Is There a Duty to Die?
  1. James Gilbert
  1. Consultant in Palliative Medicine Royal Devon & Exeter Healthcare NHS Trust

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    Edited by James M Humber and Robert F Almeder, Totawa, New Jersey, Humana Press, 2000, 221 pages, US$49.50.

    At the heart of this book is the idea that we would all be better off were we able to recognise the harder, slower, more expensive and more unjust dying which the continued development of modern medicine offers. The proposal is perhaps not so much a duty to die as a duty to refrain from unfair or excessive use of health care resources and to refrain from imposing excessive burdens at the end of one's life on family or friends. On the global scale, Battin invites us to consider a huge international deal to be struck between the wealthy First World and the developing Third World. Backed by figures on …

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