CRIME: Before Karen's Coma

Since she lapsed into a coma more than eight months ago, Karen Anne Quinlan, 21, has become the center of an anguished controversy over her right to life—or death (TIME, Nov. 24 et ante). Described by her consulting doctors as being in "a vegetative state," Quinlan is breathing with the aid of a respirator, and her brain continues to send out the faintest of signals. A Morris County, N.J., court denied her adoptive parents' petition for the right to cut off the respirator that keeps Karen alive. Last week the Quinlans filed...

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