Choosing to Live, Choosing to Die by Nikki Tate covers a topic I have always felt quite strongly about. Assisted dying is one of those subjects that has been controversial for a rather long time, subsisting in the simple fact that our world as a whole is largely against choosing death in any form. Suicide, in every way, has always been something a great many people feel the need to fight and prevent. And as technology allows us the option to medically assist suicide, or medically assist death, it brings about a question I find exceedingly important; do we have the right to force others to live and do we have the right to force it when they are suffering? For some reason, we do seem to think that we have that right; that we can deny others the right to choose what to do with their life.
I am, unquestionably, one of those who believes assisted death should be a right. I find it fascinating that we believe it is perfectly alright to make the decision to euthanize our pets if they are suffering in the last moments of their lives but we do not consider it acceptable or merciful to allow that option to a person–with infinitely more faculties and abilities to inform us of the decision they want than a beloved pet–when they are suffering. It seems rather…selfish.
Choosing to Live, Choosing to Die does not state its opinions nearly as strongly as I would. It is informative and does its best to be neutral regarding the topic. Often, Tate’s narrative goes back and forth on the subject and ultimately does a rather impressive job of presenting factual information derived from a large amount of research. This book does present the subject of assisted dying in a more positive light, clearly seeking to inform and allow others to come to their own conclusions but also not seeing assisted dying as inherently wrong or immoral.
I appreciated that immensely.
I would say that this is an important read for anyone looking to learn more and understand aspects of assisted dying, why someone might seek it out, and what the thought process behind it all is. It may help someone come to terms with a loved one seeking assisted death. If you’re looking for someone to tell you how horrible it is that such a choice is available in today’s world, this book is not going to do so. But I would encourage you to read it anyway; perhaps it will foster an understanding.
This is a subject that means a lot to me. I have a lot of very strong positive opinions for it, all stemming from the fact that I don’t believe it is right for anyone to force another person to live whilst they are suffering. And I understand that many will feel strongly in the opposite way. I do think this book offers a lot of amazing information to shed light on the subject. It will likely remain controversial for a long, long time. But it’s nice to see that we’re discussing it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.