Century Marks

What would Hippocrates say? A Boston doctor says that 15 years ago 80 percent of end-of-life medical conflicts pitted families who wanted to stop aggressive treatments against doctors who were trying to keep patients alive. Now positions have reversed: 80 percent of the time it’s the families that want to continue life-prolonging measures and the doctors that are ready to end them. How then does one explain the polls indicating that 60-70 percent of respondents supported removing the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo? It makes a difference when the patient involved is a loved one (New York Times, March 27).


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