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January 10, 1996

Time to Go: Three Plays on Death and Dying, with commentary on end-of-life issues

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1996;275(2):158-159. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530260072039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


A Chosen Death: The Dying Confront Assisted Suicide, by Lonny Shavelson, 240 pp, with illus, $23, ISBN 0-684-80100-0, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Time to Go presents a unique and creative approach to engaging the medical profession and the public in the debate concerning end-of-life issues. The book presents three one-act plays that were winners of a script-writing contest on these issues. Each play is preceded by background about the author of the script and followed by a commentary. The book is intended to stimulate and aid discussion regarding the end of life.

The introduction provides historical background and legal precedents on patient autonomy, the informed consent doctrine, the Patient Self-Determination Act, and advanced directives. Of particular interest is the history of the development of the medical theater program that led to performances of the plays. It is refreshing to see such a creative approach from a medical