WHO: Diane Rehm
WHAT: WHEN MY TIME COMES:
Conversations About Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End
WHEN: Published by Knopf February 5, 2020
WHERE: The author lives in Washington DC.
WHY: “A thoughtful conversations with friends and foes of the death-with-dignity movement.
“One in five Americans lives in a jurisdiction that allows terminally ill adults to request ‘medical aid in dying,’ the term many experts prefer to ‘assisted suicide.’ Diane Rehm became a champion of the swiftly growing right-to-die movement after her first husband, ravaged by Parkinson’s disease, begged doctors in vain for help ending his life.
“In the gently probing interviews collected here, the author discusses the pros and cons with people who have seen the effects at close range: patients, relatives, physicians, clergy, hospice administrators, and others. An African Methodist Episcopal pastor explains why he opposed the death-with-dignity law in Washington, D.C., given its potential for use against blacks. Dan Diaz recalls the upheavals his wife, Brittany, faced when they moved to Oregon so she could end her life after a diagnosis of terminal cancer; amid the devastating news, she had to find a house to rent and get a new driver’s license and voter registration card to establish residency.
“Other interviews in the book focus on a variety of relevant questions: Who qualifies for medical aid in dying? What life-ending medicines do doctors prescribe? How long does it take to die after you ingest them? For gravely ill patients, a vital point is that securing aid in dying involves paperwork, a waiting period, and finding two doctors willing to help. These safeguards can have heartbreaking results for anyone who puts off making a decision. The approval process takes an average of about one month, notes the president of the group Compassion & Choices, ‘and about half the people die before that.’” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Moving and candid… Readers faced with similar decisions will cherish this thoughtful account.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Foreword by John Grisham
228 pages. $25.95
To interview the author, contact
Paul Bogaards | 212-572-2177