Barry Rosenfeld nicely captures the central virtue of his book Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die in the final paragraph: "Although this book began as a summary of what we know and do not know, it has resulted in a litany of opportunities for contributing to this important and still-evolving social and legal policy issue" (175). Rosenfeld's work canvasses the territory of assisted suicide, euthanasia, and other means of "hastened death" by providing both an historical account of these practices as well as a critical overview of some of the most recent studies on end-of-life issues. Through careful examination of the data from these studies, Rosenfeld challenges many of the most common assumptions about the reasons why people request aid in dying and the effects of legalizing hastened death practices. Rosenfeld's remark that his book reveals a "litany of opportunities for contributing" to research in this issue does not mean that he spends one-hundred and seventy-five pages merely asking questions; rather, his investigation provides a foundation for those researching this issue, shows us what questions have already been asked and what answers have resulted, and thus naturally inspires us to consider what new questions need to be asked, or how better to ask the old ones.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matthew_pianalto/19/