Kenneth D. Grant, MD
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To the Editor: Elderly patients lacking the functional ability to make their own health care decisions present medical, ethical, and legal challenges for the internist. As both a Fellow of the College and a law student, I found the editorial on New Jersey's right-to-die cases and a related book review thought provoking (1, 2).
The editorial summarizes efforts by New Jersey courts to clarify the roles of physicians, incapacitated patients, and patients' families when important medical decisions are necessary (1). When a patient has no immediate family, the attending physician may designate another relative who "functions in the role of
Grant KD. The Right to Die. Ann Intern Med. ;109:79–80. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-1-79
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(1):79-80.
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