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April 8, 1998

Palliative Options at the End of Life

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(14):1065-1067. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-14-jac80003

To the Editor.—Dr Quill and colleagues undoubtedly are excellent physicians, but judging from their article1on palliative options, they also are good spin doctors. The authors seem determined to convince readers that it is acceptable to hasten death, although they admit that some physicians prefer not to do so.

Regarding TS, which physicians have provided since effective sedation has been available, the authors state that "death is unlikely to be dignified or remembered as peaceful by their families." In 36 years of family practice and caring for terminally ill patients, I have had only 1 case that was not regarded as peaceful and dignified by the family, and by myself.