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Road to Euthanasia or Right to Refuse Care?-Reply

Charles L. Sprung, MD, JD
JAMA. 1990;264(14):1809-1810. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450140029019.
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In Reply.—  Ms Rouse suggests that there is a deficiency in providing palliative care at the end of life and that we insist on people enduring pain and agony because of our misguided moral conscience. Physicians have distinguished between curing diseases and caring and comforting their patients for many years. Most physicians do not fear addiction or shortening of life in providing pain relief if the prognosis is hopeless and the patient is in severe pain.1 Although I believe in biblical ethics and the infinite value of human life, the priority for the relief of pain in dying patients is not theoretical but rather a daily reality practiced in my unit and others throughout the world.Dr Sananman does not view judicial attitudes as becoming more permissive but as affirming individual rights and self-determinism. My article was an attempt to note the changes in attitudes and practices in forgoing


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