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On Being a Doctor |

A Way Out

Paul Golden, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Requests for Reprints: Paul Golden, MD, 1401 Spanos Court, Suite 109, Modesto, CA 95355.

Copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1993;118(11):899-900. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-118-11-199306010-00012
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In this essay, the author describes the course of a patient in the end-stage renal program who has been receiving hemodialysis for 6 years and then makes the decision, while of competent mind, to withdraw from dialysis to end his life. The author, the patient's personal nephrologist, describes how he explained to the patient his options in the context of advanced medical directives and durable power of attorney for health care. The patient's last day of life is remembered in first-person narrative by his physician and the patient's wife. In this anecdotal account, persons receiving dialysis are singled out as unique in their ability to apply issues pertaining to their right to die.





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