Death by Appointment: A Rational Guide to the Assisted Dying Debate

This is a book about a controversial issue—whether doctors should be licensed by law to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients. It is written primarily for those who want to find a path through the thickets of a subject that transcends many fields of expertise. The authors have considerable experience of the matters about which they write, involving both research and hands-on medical care of dying people. They are not neutral about ‘assisted dying’: they are not convinced that the law is in need of change. However, the book employs an evidence-based approach and brings much-needed clarity to such complex issues as how the existing law works, how medical practice operates at the end of life, and what has been the experience of jurisdictions that have gone down the ‘assisted dying’ road. Above all, the book shows respect for the views of others who may judge the evidence differently.


Ilora Finlay is an independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. A palliative medicine consultant since 1987, she has cared for thousands of dying patients and their families, developed seven-day-a week specialist palliative care services across Wales, and established Cardiff University’s world-renowned Palliative Medicine Diploma/MSc. She holds a Distinguished Honorary Professorship in Cardiff and held Groningen’s Johanna Bejtel Chair. A Past President of the BMA and the Royal Society of Medicine, she now chairs the National Mental Capacity Forum.

Robert Preston joined the parliamentary service after a career in Whitehall. He was Clerk to the House of Lords select committee which examined Lord Joffe’s 2004 Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. From 2010 to 2019, he was Director of the think-tank Living and Dying Well.

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ISBN: 1-5275-5978-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5978-3

Release Date: 12th October 2020

Pages: 177

Price: £58.99

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