Rapid changes in medical care and in society's attitudes about death have made the right-to-die debate a timely topic, but its roots can be traced back to the founding of this country. High school and college students can explore the history of this debate through this unique collection of primary documents. Government reports, court cases, statements from religious groups, and many other contributions provide a thorough examination of the arguments for and against allowing people to make their own decisions about how and when they die. An explanatory introduction precedes each document to aid the user in understanding the various arguments that have been put forth in this debate, encouraging consideration of all sides when drawing conclusions. Such issues as attitudes toward death, mercy killings, euthanasia, the development of living wills, and advance directives are explored in detail and are traced back to their early roots. Each of the volume's six parts examines a different subject within the debate and provides records ranging from the high profile court cases of Karen Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan to samples of living wills to a statement from Pope Pius II. Zucker presents the reader with a variety of ideas from many different people, including doctors, patients, religious leaders, and government officials, and presents a broad range of perspectives that will be a welcome resource for students wishing to explore this highly emotional topic from as many different angles as possible.