Nathan Schnaper, MD
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To the Editors: A bright, alert, elderly man with several different life-threatening illnesses sought counseling for what he hoped would be an approach to euthanasia. He had long since thoroughly informed himself about the "Hemlock Society." Several months of nondirective discussion sessions resulted in his postponing active intervention.
A "new" symptom precipitated the possibility of major surgery, albeit with an awareness on all sides of the poor prognosis. Nonetheless, the patient pushed for the surgery, which resulted in his death. The patient achieved his wish by seducing his medical caregivers to unwittingly expedite his demise.
This letter was of necessity
Nathan Schnaper. Surgery or Assisted Suicide?. Ann Intern Med. 1991;114:995. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-11-995_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(11):995.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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