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Death’s dominion—ethics at the end of life
  1. J Coggon

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    Simon Woods. Open University Press, 2007, £19.99 (paperback), pp 192.

    Death’s Dominion is Simon Woods’ addition to the excellent and thought-provoking Facing Death series. Its timeliness is hardly at issue: the debate on euthanasia, end-of-life care and associated issues looks set to rage for some time. And it comes out at a time when the UK Parliament is debating a palliative care bill, designed to promote a duty of the state to provide palliative care to all who need it. The real concern with a work in this area is knowing whether it is worth reading. I think it is. Relatively few are the texts that deal with palliative care, and fewer still are those that deal with it in such a careful and comprehensive manner. No thorough analysis of issues regarding the roles of the state and health care in individuals’ end-of-life decision-making can afford to ignore the specialty, yet it is often left unmentioned. For anyone who wishes to know about it and to see it in a clear social and ethical context, this book will prove highly valuable.

    The book is logically structured, consisting of eight chapters. Although these lead clearly from one …

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