Life And Death

After Cruzan Across the country, a welter of painful dilemmas about the possible termination of care is wending through the courts

Retired schoolteacher Helga Wanglie, 87, has lain in a vegetative state at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis since last May. There is no possibility of recovery. Doctors have told Oliver Wanglie, Helga's husband of 53 years, that they want to end life support for a patient whose prospects seem so hopeless. Cost is not an issue: the family's health insurance covers almost all expenses. But Wanglie refuses to permit the demise of his spouse, who, according to him, believed firmly that only God should make such a determination. "She told me that if anything happened to her, she didn't...

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