The Law: If Death Shall Be No More

When Joseph and Julia Quinlan asked that their daughter be allowed to die, they had the full support of their Roman Catholic priest, Father Thomas Trapasso of Our Lady of the Lake Church. Said he: "Extraordinary means are not morally required to prolong life." The vice chancellor of his diocese, Father Herbert Tillyer, agreed: "There is a profound difference between killing someone and allowing a person to spend his or her last few hours or days free from the maze of machinery that is beautiful only so long as there is hope for some recovery."

Other Catholics did not agree. As the...

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