Cover image for Life and death on your own terms
Life and death on your own terms
Basta, L. (Lofty)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
364 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R725.5 .B27 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

L. L. Basta, M.D., is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of South Florida and a cardiologist in practice in Clearwater, Florida

Reviews 1

Choice Review

US physicians and medical technology are the best in the world, but the US healthcare system is failing to provide the best medicine to the public at large. The US spends $4,187 per capita for healthcare, well above what other industrial societies like France and Japan ($2,370) spend, and yet the US life span is well below that of the citizens of these countries. One factor that increases healthcare costs and does little to improve health is extensive medical intervention near the end of life. Defensive medical practices to minimize legal liability, public demand for and unrealistic expectations about high-tech care, and the breakdown of the doctor-patient relationship all contribute to this problem. This book, written for professionals and the general public, describes the dynamics of medical care in the US at the end of life. Basta, a practicing cardiologist (medicine, Univ. of South Florida), provides perspectives on the causes and consequences of futile medical care at the end of life. He suggests a more humanistic definition of death for medical purposes and a model living will. End-of-life case studies; notes; glossary. A very readable and insightful book with resources and ideas for assuring dignity and quality care at the end of life. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. R. L. Jones emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center

Table of Contents

Henry D. McIntosh, M.D., M.A.C.C.
Forewordp. 7
Prologue--Dying: A Personal Notep. 11
Introduction: Misplaced Medical Heroicsp. 17
1. In Search of a New Definition of Death in an Era of High Technologyp. 25
2. Setting Limits: High Technology Interventions Near the End of Lifep. 49
3. The Runaway Abuse of High Technologyp. 63
4. The Exorcism of Death: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)p. 81
5. The Sour Note in the "Sweet Death": Physician-Assisted Suicide and Active Euthanasiap. 97
6. The Exorbitant Cost of Dying in Americap. 125
7. Should Age, Per Se, Be Reason to Limit Medical Interventions?p. 147
8. How Our Dying Can Help the Livingp. 157
9. Controlling Our Mortal Destiny: The Birth of the Living Willp. 177
10. Does the "Living Will" Deserve to Live?p. 191
11. The Doctor-Patient Relationship Is in Need of Repairp. 211
12. The Hard Choices about End-of-Life Medical Carep. 231
13. Project GRACE: A Physician-Public Partnership for Good Dyingp. 237
14. Ethical Dilemmas in Medical Management at End-of-Life: Case Studiesp. 277
Glossaryp. 321
Appendix Advance Care Plan Documentp. 325
Notesp. 331
Indexp. 355