THE CONGRESS: What Liz Ray Has Wrought

Watching her patient come out of a coma, the nurse asked a traditional question: "Do you know where you are?" Congressman Wayne Hays nodded. "Where?" she persisted. Slowly, stretching out the word, he replied: "Barnes ... ville." Hays had survived an excessive dose of sleeping pills, mind undamaged, and would keep his place at the center of a congressional scandal that grew still more lurid last week.

Whether Hays had purposefully tried to end his life—and his agony —was not immediately clear. Richard Phillips, Hays' family physician and friend, had prescribed Dalmane,...