The Law: Dilemma in Dying

Weak and in agony, Carmen Martinez, 72, pleaded for the right to a peaceful death. Hospitalized in Hialeah, Fla., for almost two months, she had a fatal form of hemolytic anemia, a blood disease. The treatment that was keeping her alive involved surgical incisions into her withered veins so that almost continual blood transfusions could be forced in. "Please don't torture me any more," she begged her doctor, Rolando Lopez. Many doctors routinely, if quietly, withhold life-preserving treatment when they determine that its only effect will be to prolong the agony of dying. But Dr. Lopez was concerned that he might...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!