Category Archives: euthanasia

Jack Kevorkian dies at 83

Kevorkian was ridiculed while he fought to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The media, stooping as it usually does to name-calling, fixed a particularly offensive label to Dr Kevorkian, which effectively obscured the importance, sanity, mercy, and compassion behind his cause. I won’t repeat the name here because it does harm every time it’s used, and even sympathetic writers and reporters seem unable to resist the impulse to mention it.

I admire Dr Kevorkian for standing up for what he believed in.  Judge Jessica Cooper’s decision to send him to jail was a travesty of justice. She claimed that the court is not the place to test a law.

We have the means and the methods to protest the laws with which we disagree. You can criticize the law, you can write or lecture about the law, you can speak to the media or petition the voters. But you cannot break the law.

Tell that to Rosa Parks, Judge Cooper.

(See more about euthanasia at Naked Singularity.)

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Naked Singularity now on Kindle

My second novel may not get quite as much attention as my other two novels (with pretty females on their covers), but Naked Singularity is my personal favorite and I’m happy to announce that it’s finally available on Kindle.  The subject is dark — euthanasia — but heavy as it is, it’s also darkly comic. Here’s a thoughtful review from poet Gerrit Henry published when the novel first appeared in 2003.

Alexander, Victoria N. Naked Singularity.The Permanent Press, 2003, Sag Harbor. 189 pp. One of the many dark beauties of Victoria N. Alexander’s new novel is that, not only is it the proverbial good read, it is also a proverbially brilliant one. Alexander–holder of a PhD–has dished up a heart-stoppingly beautiful heroine who holds similar degrees in teleology (the study of why) and she thinks, and writes, like a dream. Witness this sample from a soliloquy by Hali on death: “You had thought death would at least be romantic, but now you realize there is nothing to be thankful for–how vacuous, how colorless, how without pity, how without regard for your intentions . . . . ” This, from a piece of popular fiction, is almost asking too much in the matter of sheer, unabused style. Continue reading

PBS Frontline on euthanasia

PBS Frontline recently featured a show about how terminally ill patients and their families face death. Medical science today can keep virtually any body “alive” for years – even after vital organs have ceased to function. It is a complex issue because – in addition to the philosophical questions about what it means to be alive Continue reading

Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago

As a reviewer, there are two things you’ll want to know about me before bothering to read further. I only like literary fiction, and I only like literary fiction that’s a bit “difficult,” in one way or another, style or theme, preferably both.

A good theme for me might include controversial social issues, human paradoxes, ethical puzzles– problems to which there are no easy solutions. The concerns of unmarried 32-year-old woman and the plight of a middle-aged man whose affair is petering out are not real “problems,” in my view, nor is the temporary loss of faith in God or humanity. Continue reading

The Choice Issues in the Health Care Bill: eating meat and reading literature

Two extremely important issues–that are not strictly health related–are holding up the health care bill. These are: whether the government should help fund abortions and whether the government should help fund end-of-life consultations between patients and physicians. Anyone who knows my novels knows that I’m a feminist and so would expect me to support Pro-Choice, and I do. Anyone who has read Naked Singularity knows that I would fight for choice on the issue of euthanasia too. Nevertheless, I think both should be withdrawn from the bill. Here’s why: Continue reading

Hospice nurses: mercy killers or predators?

Recently the controversial issue of euthanasia was tossed around in the news media due to the living will clause in the health care reform bill.  Democrats wanted health insurance to cover any patient who wished to have an “end-of-life consultation” with his/her physician, deciding ahead of time what to do if the patient’s condition was past hope and the patient no longer able to communicate his/her desires. Continue reading