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Denial of the Soul: Spiritual and Medical Perspectives on Euthanasia and Mortality Paperback – Mar 24 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1 edition (March 24 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609801341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609801345
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 15.2 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
There's a reason Dr. Peck is one of my favorite authors, and this book once more demonstrates why. Denial of the Soul is a brave and important book that carefully and objectively explores the entire issue of euthanasia from both a medical and spiritual standpoint. Frequently touching and always well reasoned, once again he has produced a masterpiece that should give the thoughtful reason plenty to digest as he or she struggles to decide for themselves how they feel about the idea of terminating a human life-especially their own. This is much more than simply a book about the pros and cons of "pulling the plug" on the terminally ill, but explores a whole range of questions regarding hospice care, suicide and mercy killing, doctor assisted euthanasia, pain management, and quality of life issues (his chapter on pain management alone should be required reading for every first year medical student and nurse trainee.) His spiritual perspective on the issue-which he covers in some depth in the second half of the book-is more subjective and problematic, but he does manage to successfully bring God into the debate, for which I consider him among the bravest of medical professionals. His no-nonsense approach and personal antidotes make this one of those books you'll be thinking about long after you've read the last words.
As is true of all of Peck's books, however, I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with 95% of everything he wrote and vehemently disagreeing with the remaining 5%. He approaches the spiritual aspect of the debate from a purely liberal Christian perspective (and the political elements of it from a similar perspective) and so makes some statements that I couldn't help but challenge.
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Format: Paperback
This book addresses the question of euthanasia in America. It presents the spiritual issues surrounding death and life - issues which the Peck feels are not fully considered when considering euthanasia.
He distinguishes between pain and suffering - how pain can and should be alleviated, and why it should not be the cause of seeking a quick death.
His book is important for those who will face death, either themselves or in others. It is a brave attempt to clear the conflict regarding euthanasia.
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Format: Paperback
Denial of the Soul is one of those books of rare insight about the human condition. The author shares the distillation of experience, concern about death, the nature of euthanasia, and life itself. Peck's book is not a diatribe against euthanasia but a subtle examination of how human nature shapes our deaths and how our choices about death ultimately strip bear our grip on life. The book is also a straw in the wind of the cultural war that flares all too often in the U.S. Peck characterizes himself as a Christian but does not then procede to pick up the cudgels of fundamentalism to batter the secular barbarians who may disagree with him. Peck's Christianity is tempered with more than a little humility and a keen awareness that he might be wrong from time to time. Peck does use this volume to speak against the notion that the whole of a human is immeasurably greater than the sum of the biochemical parts. He passionately argues that just as quantum mechanics limits what we can measure and describe with certainty, the nature of the human soul masks depths and purposes that also remain hidden. The decision to prematurely end a life, to short-cut a soul strikes Peck as a risky endeavour. Denial of the Soul is more than a discourse on euthanasia and sadly may be ignored because it is neither a strident attack on secular valuses nor a staunch defense of conservative Christianity. The book is far more than that, it is about life and the choices all of us make.
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By A Customer on Sept. 27 1998
Format: Paperback
Denial of the Soul is a must read for every person and it is one of those books you must read before you need the information. The first third of the book is devoted to taking a cut at the medical profession for not providing 'proper pain contol' of terminal patients. The last two thirds deals with the subtitle in an interesting way that will keep me thinking about it the rest of my life. He starts with a definition of the soul which is complex (typical of Peck) and requires considerable discussion to make it "real". He goes on to explore the subject but, for me, the most interesting part of the book is his "side trips" into death and dying and life! I found the wisdom great for a man that is trying his best to face his own death in the not too distant future. (Peck is about 63 or so) Included are some "gray rules" for deciding if the plug should or should not be pulled that are very useful. Every person that is alive will face the issues in this book for yourself or your loved ones. It is a must to help you decide many answers and there will be some you can not answer till you have to. Peck says that some of the greatest learning for you and for loved ones can take place in the process of dying. I know this to be true from what I experienced with my own father's death. Scotty has done a great service to mankind, again, with this book. Jerry Hampton
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