To the Editor.
—Nonmaleficence, that a physician should do no harm, was one of the first concepts introduced to us and our classmates during orientation to medical school. As physicians, we will be entrusted with the care of the human being and will continually encounter hopeless situations. Nevertheless, the role of the physician is to provide the best possible care to the patient. The taking of a life is not appropriate action for a care giver.After the physician's emotionally detached account of the action taken to end the patient's life in the article entitled "It's Over, Debbie,"1 we realize that there are practicing physicians who either do not take the time to think of the maleficence of their actions or who are ignorant of such a notion. The resident who injected an overdose of morphine into Debbie violated the principle of "do no harm."Although the resident may
DiRusso GB, Driben JS, Druffner MR, Lauricella R, Sarma S. It's Over, Debbie. JAMA. 1988;259(14):2097-2098. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720140018022