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The Last Goodnights

Assisting My Parents with Their Suicides

List Price: $15.95

January 5, 2010 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.7, 272 Pages | ISBN 9781582435572
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“John West has a significant story to tell...” —Washington Post

“Death is as natural as life, and should be sweet and graceful.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

A husband and wife are gravely ill. Rather than living in pain, they choose to end their lives, and they turn to their son for help. Despite the legal risks and emotional turmoil it is sure to cause him, he agrees—and ultimately performs an act of love more difficult than any other.

The Last Goodnights provides a unique and unflinching look deep inside the reality of one of the most galvanizing issues of our time: assisted suicide. Told with bare honesty, John West’s account of the deaths of two brave people is both gritty and loving, frightening and illuminating. It also offers a powerful testament to the act of death by choice, and reveals all the reasons why end-of-life issues are far too personal for government intrusion.

Intimately told, The Last Goodnights points out the unnecessary pain and suffering that are often forced upon dying people and their families, and honors the choice to live or die with purpose and dignity. In the end, this story is not just about death—it is also about love, courage, and autonomy.

About John West

JOHN WEST attended Stanford University, graduated from UCLA, and holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. West lives in Los Angeles, where he is an attorney and a writer.


“It’s an incredible story… and whatever your feelings about helping someone die, The Last Goodnights adds something valuable to the conversation.” —

“John West has a significant story to tell… He shines a harsh light on a society that forces a son to go through so much pain simply to relieve a parent’s suffering. And he also communicates a softer message about his relationship with his mother and their unselfish love for one another.” —Washington Post

“Harrowing and heartbreaking… a gripping account.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“You will sympathize.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

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