Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Charles F. McKhann, 268 pp, $30, ISBN 0-300-07631-2, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 1999.
Dr Charles F. McKhann says out loud what most physicians know but fear to admit and what some are reluctant or unable to acknowledge even to themselves: "Physicians have always helped some patients to die." Indeed, these were probably among the first acts the first physician practiced as she attempted to ease suffering. (Dr McKhann uses the novel convention of designating physicians as "she" and patients as "he.") The physician's role in assisted dying is the subject of A Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance, both a thoughtful advocacy for legally empowering the medical profession to do what it has been doing for centuries and a rational argument for expanding that role even further.
Physician-Assisted SuicideA Time to Die: The Place for Physician Assistance. JAMA. 2000;283(4):540-541. doi:10.1001/jama.283.4.540-JBK0126-5-1