Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A husband and wife are gravely ill. Rather than living in pain, they choose to end their lives, and they turn to their son for help. Despite the legal risks and emotional turmoil it is sure to cause him, he agrees—and ultimately performs an act of love more difficult than any other. The Last Goodnights provides a unique and unflinching look deep inside the reality of one of the most galvanizing issues of our time: assisted suicide. Told with bare honesty, John West's account of the deaths of two brave people is both gritty and loving, frightening and illuminating. It also offers a powerful testament to the act of death by choice, and reveals all the reasons why end-of-life issues are far too personal for government intrusion. Intimately told, The Last Goodnights points out the unnecessary pain and suffering that is often forced upon dying people and their families, and honors the choice to live or die with purpose and dignity. In the end, this story is not just about death—it is also about love, courage, and autonomy.

There is one word that I can sum up the book in..... haunting. This is especially true for anyone that has had the troublesome reality of watching someone die of a horrific, incurable disease and having no way of helping. The first half of this book I did connect to more than I did with the second since my father died of cancer just as John West father would have. The last two weeks of his life he was kept "comfortable" or really kept in a morphine induced coma. Is that really living? This book is not a light piece of literature this is a book you have to read and really think. It makes you question right from wrong in the traditional beliefs we are brought up in in this christian faith run society as well as the value of life. I give many props to the author for his courage. He talks about in the book how he could go to jail for this, yet he still help his parents. Many books written now you can just read the dialogue or the conversations between characters and not the full text and get what is going on, this book is not one of those. If you read just the conversation you would view the author as cold hearted and I praise the author for really putting in his feelings so the reader can feel the as he did. I really enjoyed that he spent most of the book going threw the struggles with his mom, her disease, and the want and need to end her life. His father you would agree with more since he was told that he only had a few weeks maybe a few months left to live and we are also more confortable with the topic of cancer and most people know what a devastating disease it is. His mom story looking at just the basic facts would seem extreme to want to kill herself, yet his depiction of the day to day struggles shows that this disease is just as devastating. His mom is also very quirky at times and it helps the story light a bit so it is easier to read.

So I highly recommend that everyone should read this book. Its a story that is one that needs to be told as well as discussed. Since as the author points out no changes can be made to laws without everyone helps and this book is a great starting point. It is a story that you an really put yourself into that person shoes and you really should and ask yourself what would you want to do or have done?

Here is a link to a great video interview with author about the book from Good Morning America!


Book and Cranny - Templates Novo Blogger