Willful Death and Painful Decisions: A Failed Assisted Suicide

The patient was a woman in her 30s who, until the rapid progression of an ultimately fatal neurologic disease, had been a very successful professional, enjoying athletics and an active social life. In the 6 months of swift deterioration, she had gone from being extremely vibrant and energetic to being totally unable to care for her personal needs. There had been no loss of intellectual capacity. Her sister later recounted to Dr. J., the emergency department physician, that she had found the patient unconscious and unresponsive at home and had immediately called the patient's neurologist in a neighboring city. He directed her to call the paramedics
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DOI 10.1017/S0963180100000256
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