Life and Death Book Review

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The author even goes on further with some ideas of how the legislation needs to be really being changed in order to lawfully inspect and receive circumstances of euthanasia.

The book also goes on to talk about many other areas to the reader for example, how this misrepresenting of the border line has left a lot of people with sensitive questions about pain and suffering and how it not only effects the patient but also people around them such as their family and friends (Schemmer, 1998, p. 83 paragraph 2). Schemmer goes a little further and discusses other topics such as the quality of life, death with dignity, and the costs of long-term care. He mentions that people can really discover many different helpful answers to these queries and answers that are learned by God's word and what he feels about the situation rather than relying on the human flesh for the way to deal with problems such as life and death. The author brings up the point with reference to the compassion of Jesus, and our Christian conscience and how it should play a very crucial role in the decisions that we make. He looks at questions for example: The growth of contemporary medical technologies and the impact that they have on our society. He also jumps in to the legal aspects of cases that are current and their effects on patient's decisions. It is clear that the author wants to show what it means to be a person. What he, a doctor would want for myself went put in these situations.

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Book Review on Life and Death: The Life Assignment

The researcher believes that the author came up with many different questions that deserved a valid answer. However at the same time, there are times when it appeared to be biased a little, at time of being completely objective and the time of just being plain old neutral with not much of an opinion involved when it came to ethical issues. When the sections involved family's members bringing in their input, the author appeared biased. For example, the part where he stressed "No so easily decided" for families that really caught up in chaos as to what to do regarding a loved one- which could be from a spouse to a child was a very vocal area for the author (Schemmer, 1998, p. 87 paragraph 2).

His biased views went to the family members that chose to leave their loved ones on the machine opposed to those that felt it was best to take them off without giving their loved one a fighting chance. When patients say, "I can't go on like this," it does not necessarily mean that they want to die or even that they are rejecting life support (Schemmer, 1998, p. 83 paragraph 3). Schemmer, who is known to be a practicing Christian physician, makes the point in the book that he uses a three-point checklist when bearing in mind introducing the situation. This checklist obviously is very ethical because it forces the person to have to look toward God as the answer. Does it work in the patients favor? (Does this method give the patient hope?) Is it courteous? (Does the patient really want this? Is a huge attack on the patient's body really necessary in order to manage life-support?) Is the patient inept? (Inept basically means no longer adept of making or articulating significant picks for themselves.) These questions were biased to the author and people that accepted these guidelines (mostly Christians) because as previously mentioned, it basically will box a person into asking a higher power before pulling the plug especially if they are a Christian.

However, other argue different and mentioned that these checklist are very selfish and do not solve anything. These are questions that most experts might just say are irrelevant and that Schemmer has a very self-centered point-of-view. Many would argue that his questions in the book are not needed for a doctor to make their decision and that it should not really have to fall on the hands of the relatives either (Schemmer, 1998, p. 88). Basically, they arguing just pull the plug when it is obvious. Schemmer can be applauded for this section of the book because it was here that he remained objective and not really being one-sided here.

However, for a Christian family, it may not be that easy according to the author when it comes down to making vital decisions for a dying patient. For example in the situation concerning the delivery system, Schemmer states "But the matter is not so simply settled. Some may argue that providing food and water does not amount to a medical measure but to "basic care" that everyone deserves." True enough, but it's not the provision that's in question. It's the delivery system (Schemmer, 1998, p. 87 paragraph 4).

The author was clear with his biased views here in that specific aspect. He was subjective regarding a Christian family member that is put in the position to make this decision regarding how a relative should be handled. He rallied the point that it is not the call of the family member, the doctor or the nurse but God's. The author clearly subjective in making the controversial point that the family member should consult the Spirit of God that lives in them in order to make a decision that is just. Schemmer it keeps it subjective when he argues his point that according to a Spirit-knowledgeable conscience, Medical personnel, rather they are a Christian or not should not be forced to act against their own ethics, either.

The author is unbiased, when mentioning how the physician's choices concerning the life and death of a person should be done with cautious thought of the desires and principles of the patient and not anyone else involved. Schemmer believes that the Christian doctor, in particular, should be dutiful to biblical instruction and delicate to the guidance of those in the Christian community when it comes down to a similar situation. Schemmer is not shy about voicing his opinion on the fact that stricter laws need to be put in place that will keep the doctor from making these decision without sound consultation.


It is clear that Schemmer made the point of autonomy. In our selfish society, autonomy (independence and self-government) obtains great stress. However, autonomy is barely ever done deprived of limits. Clearly, any society and that included those places that do not even recognize God's moral laws really do need to put some restrictions on personal in for everything that everything can function correctly. Schemmer makes the point by making sure the reader understands that Biblically, our distinctly autonomy must be imperfect by God's moral law.

As talked about in the book people that practice being secular humanists of course refuse this as being truth. They state that the privileges of any patient are superlative and that has a right to select the nature and time of their own death. This adds up to death that is put on demand. Nonetheless even if we came to the agreement with the autonomy argument, being tolerant of that person should be allowed to select death on demand, with conviction such a choice would require some kind of competence, informed permission, and voluntariness (Dolan, M.,2001). To be truthfully autonomous, an individual choice has got be rational, fully-knowledgeable, and easily made. Are people that are terminally=ill really in a state of mind to even make such a choice? Most would argue not, bearing in mind that their mental capability is affected by fundamental illnesses in 75% of cases, and that emotional capability is often affected by a preliminary, but revocable, stage of suicidal depression (Gostin, L.O.,1997). Furthermore, fully-informed agreement is frequently complex by doubts of analysis and prognosis. Physicians are just powerless to precisely forecast the timing of death or the value of lingering life and may suggestively mislead terminally-ill patients (Gostin, L.O.,1997). A further complication that Schemmer points out is that the voluntariness of a person's selection may simply be cooperated by stresses from medics, nurses, family and the world - all of whom have conferred interests which could tussle with the patient's survival (Schemmer, 1998, p. 83 paragraph 2).

Other studies do show that a counter-argument made by euthanasia advocates is that an organization of concentrated counseling and far-reaching assessment could defend the development - for example the rules for euthanasia in different places around the world. Nevertheless, a government ordered study into the use of euthanasia in the Netherlands had shown that the rules are not always shadowed: A third of lethal injections are done where the patient is unaware, and in spite of the requirement for determined request, 57% of circumstances happen on the same day they are requested for, and 10% occur during the same hour! (John-Thor Dahlburg.,2004) The study presented that physicians also often fabricate death certificates and ignore the desires for referring a second physician.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Life and Death" Book Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Life and Death.  (2012, April 18).  Retrieved April 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Life and Death."  18 April 2012.  Web.  14 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Life and Death."  April 18, 2012.  Accessed April 14, 2021.