Cover image for Life and death decisions : psychological and ethical considerations in end-of-life care
Life and death decisions : psychological and ethical considerations in end-of-life care
Kleespies, Phillip M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiv, 203 pages ; 26 cm
Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Chapter 1. Modern end-of-life issues: an overview -- Chapter 2. Ethical and legal issues in end-of-life decisions -- Chapter 3. The wish to die: decisions that do not prolong and may hasten the dying process -- Chapter 4. The wish to die: assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia -- Chapter 5. The wish to prolong life -- Chapter 6. Alternatives in care at the end of life -- Chapter 7. The psychologist's role in end-of-life care -- Chapter 8. Concluding thoughts on suffering, dying, and choice.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R726.8 .K565 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This work offers mental health practitioners information about the choices that people must make regarding how they will die, or how they will resist dying, and about the ethical issues involved in making those choices. It presents the major moral, value-based, and ethical principles that guide end-of-life decision-making, including autonomy, beneficence, mercy, and justice. It also reviews the elements of informed consent, competence, and other issues that guide the American legal system's stance on this controversial debate. It articulates the role and functions that mental health practitioners, particularly psychologists, can fulfil as members of end-of-life interdisciplinary teams to help individuals interact more fully with their loved ones and make decisions on a path toward increasing the probability of death with dignity.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although published by the American Psychological Association and written by a clinical psychologist, this book is a splendid summary of issues related to end-of-life care, and comprehensible to undergraduates in any discipline. Only one chapter relates specifically to the role of psychologists; it suggests that practitioners of this discipline have either been excluded or stayed away from helping with end-of-life matters, and calls for their involvement. Kleespies (VA Boston Health Care System) has a good grasp of ethical and legal concerns. His summary of the literature on these issues emphasizes recent studies. Topics include an overview of ethical and legal issues, refusal and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, communication between medical personnel and patients, assisted suicide, medical futility, access to care, alternative types of care (including nursing homes and hospice care), problems with the current structure of Medicare, and the psychologist's role. The index and references are satisfactory. This book would be valuable as either a text or reference on end-of-life issues. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. M. LaBar Southern Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 3
Chapter 1. Modern End-of-Life Issues: An Overviewp. 9
Chapter 2. Ethical and Legal Issues in End-of-Life Decisionsp. 27
Chapter 3. The Wish to Die: Decisions That Do Not Prolong or May Hasten the Dying Processp. 55
Chapter 4. The Wish to Die: Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasiap. 81
Chapter 5. The Wish to Prolong Lifep. 109
Chapter 6. Alternatives in Care Near the End of Lifep. 129
Chapter 7. The Psychologist's Role in End-of-Life Carep. 147
Chapter 8. Concluding Thoughts on Suffering, Dying, and Choicep. 163
Referencesp. 169
Author Indexp. 189
Subject Indexp. 195
About the Authorp. 203