Book Club Choice: Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

This month’s book club fiction choice was Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

Book description from Amazon

When Alice finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of Alzheimer’s Disease she is just fifty years old. A university professor, wife, and mother of three, she still has so much more to do – books to write, places to see, grandchildren to meet. But when she can’t remember how to make her famous Christmas pudding, when she gets lost in her own back yard, when she fails to recognise her actress daughter after a superb performance, she comes up with a desperate plan. But can she see it through? Should she see it through? Losing her yesterdays, living for each day, her short-term memory is hanging on by a couple of frayed threads. But she is still Alice.

It is not my intention here to simply review the books I read with my club as websites such as Amazon and Goodreads do a great job of this.

Instead, I intend to highlight a discussion thread which arose within my own small group during our afternoon analysis of the book and offer it in brief for you to consider too.

Today’s thread was a biggie … euthanasia

The British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as “a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering” There are different euthanasia laws in each country.

Our group considered whether we thought euthanasia should be considered on a case by case basis. We were divided. I was amazed. Every other time in the past that this subject has been discussed in my presence the consensus has been a resounding “No”. Some of my group admitted to having changed their minds after experiences within their own families. I’m still thinking about it as I write this.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Marian

    Here in Italy government has just passed a new bill where anyone now can legally write something called a Biological Testament. Basically you can decide before you get to a vegative state, or terminally ill, what sort of treatment you want and particular what you don’t want done to you. I am wholly in favour of deciding how I want to end my days and definitely want to have a say in it too. I totally regard my body and brain as mine and will set down instructions in writing in the hope that they will be respected. The only trouble is that I suspect it will always be a doctor who actually decides whether to pull the plug out or give me that lethal injection though.

    However, I don’t think it is fair or right for a family member to take it into their own hands to decide whether or not a loved one should live or die. They should only support the feelings of the person in that situation and act accordingly.

    Here there was a case where a father fought for 17 years to let his daughter die after being on a life support machine for 20 odd years. He finally won his case as he stated that his daughter had specifically said that she didn’t want to live in a vegative state but there was an uproar about it especially from the catholic community.
    I like your book choice and hope they have an e-book version of it although my e-reader is on the blink at the moment.

    • KarenGuttridge

      This bill sounds brilliant in theory and my feelings are exactly the same as yours in believing that “my body and brain are mine”. I feel strongly that my choices under adverse health conditions are mine to make (whatever I decide). I definitely wouldn’t support the right of a sufferer’s family members to take such decisions. It’s a difficult one… As for the book itself, everyone enjoyed it in my group and gave it a 5/5 overall :-)