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ARTICLE |

JUDGE-MADE LAW.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(23):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450750051011.
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ABSTRACT

According to an item in the daily press, a Missouri judge has recently decided that any physician who believes the case of a patient a hopeless one and fails to inform him is guilty of a breach of trust. As the paper editorially remarks, this is a decision that cuts both ways. It may be wrong under certain circumstances to encourage false hopes, but who has endowed us with prophetic powers, and what experienced physician has not seen what seemed to be hopeless cases recover? Again, how often do we not know that the abandonment of hope on the part of the patient means a quick succumbing to the disease, when otherwise life is at least prolonged, even in hopeless cases. In such a case the course indicated by this decision would simply mean murder, and if it ever compels any one to act in accord with it, the judge

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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