Law: Right to Die

Who should decide?

Sharon Siebert, a former Minneapolis "Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes," and Husband Richard, a neurosurgeon, had been married for twelve years when, in 1974, she began to suffer brain seizures. A cyst operation led to meningitis, and by 1976 she lay helpless at St. Mary's Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis. Finally, last August, her family and physician agreed that if Siebert's heart or lungs should fail, the staff was in effect to let her die. Now her condition is at the center of a debate about who, if anyone, can make such a decision for a patient.

In the eyes of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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