Medicine: Cancer & Conscience

Cancer, a deadly disease that the doctor has to attack with inadequate tools and insufficient understanding of the cause, gives the medical profession its two most painful problems of conscience: Should life be prolonged, even at the cost of pain to the patient, if the doctor is convinced that the patient is dying? And should the doctor tell the patient that the disease is cancer as soon as the diagnosis is certain? Last week 1,000 medical scientists and 450 laymen at the annual meeting of the American Cancer Society in Manhattan heard an eloquent answer to the first question, and a...

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