Medicine: Life & Death

With the nation's interest in the rights & wrongs of "mercy killing" quickened by the trial of Dr. Hermann Sander (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS), a doctor in Cambridge, Mass, last week offered, in a letter to the editor of the New York Times, some purely professional objections to legalized euthanasia:

". . . Mercy killing would require the consent of the patient, a judge and a board of physicians . . .

"From personal experience I know how easily these patients can be influenced, debilitated as they are by a long illness . . . Aside from the inability of the patient to make...