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The Inevitable Reviews

The Inevitable by Katie Engelhart

The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die

Katie Engelhart

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Atlantic Books
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 4 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9781786495648

A compelling and beautifully written exploration of the topic which breaks all taboos: assisted death

  • Daily MailBook of the Week
5 stars out of 5
8 Apr 2021

"(this) book is superb: well-reasoned arguments with absorbing personal stories"

An alternative is offered by doctors like Lonny Shavelson in the U.S., who helps Californians take advantage of their state's assisted dying laws. Relatives sometimes tell him that the patient's final moments are the first time they've seen them comfortable in years. (Shavelson's nurse says of one mainstream doctor that 'he will pry the lid off a coffin to try another treatment'.) Natural deaths, argues Shavelson, often happen when a relative has left the hospital, or just popped out of the room. With a planned death everyone can say goodbye properly, even compose their final words.


4 stars out of 5
Christina Patterson
21 Feb 2021

"A fascinating study of one of the most fraught ethical issues"

There’s also plenty of compassion, plenty of nuance and plenty of complex thought. Engelhart is a skilled storyteller. She marshals a mass of questions and arguments. Why should you help someone who’s in physical pain to die, but not someone in mental pain? Who defines “unbearable” suffering? Why is it OK to help someone to take a lethal drug, but not OK to inject them with one when they can’t? (In the Netherlands and Belgium, of course, it is. Young people and even children can be killed by a sympathetic doctor.)