Medicine: The Right to Die

A doctor has no right to speed a patient's end by euthanasia, or "mercy killing," no matter how hopeless his condition. But neither, declares Dr. Francis T. Hodges, 48, a general practitioner in San Francisco, has the doctor any right to prolong a "hopeless" patient's life by extraordinary feats of medicine.

"There has been too little said," says Dr. Hodges in the California-Western Academy Monthly, "of a legitimate right, a God-given right, of the dying man. That is his right to die ... The hopelessly ill patient need not, through a distorted sense of professional duty, be subjected to heroic and extraordinary...

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