Did Reggie Lewis Have to Die?

Conflicting medical advice and a professional athlete's drive may have played a role, but blame is hard to fix

In the initial shock, the death of basketball star Reggie Lewis last week seemed a grim parable of the seductive power of professional sports -- of an athlete so devoted to a game and its rewards that he would distort medical truth in order to keep playing. It also seemed an object lesson in the relativity of medical truth, and in the perplexities -- perhaps even the questionable ethics -- of equally eminent specialists making highly public, completely contradictory diagnoses. The details that emerged in the days after Lewis died, however, suggested a medical and emotional situation that was both more...

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