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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
No One Trusts the Dying
Angell, Marcia
July 7, 1997
Washington Post (07/07/97) P. A19

The Supreme Court may have voted against permitting doctor- assisted suicide for dying patients, but eventually the practice will become legal because dying patients need that choice, writes Marcia Angell, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, in the Washington Post. According to Angell, compassionate physicians already help dying patients to end their lives by turning off life supports, giving large amounts of morphine, or over- prescribing sleeping pills. Their actions, however, are kept secret and unpredictable. The U.S. Supreme Court was wrong, Angell concludes, to deny dying patients some choice in the manner of their death.