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February 1984

Intravenous Support in Dying Patients

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(2):420. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350140254050

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To the Editor.  —I am appalled at the hypocrisy in the article by Micetich et al, who advocate discontinuing IV fluids in patients whose families request no further procedures.The artificial distinction made between IV fluids and ventilators is ludicrous. A physician's responsibility for death is the same whether he or she withdraws IV therapy or respiratory assistance. The authors state that IV treatment and ventilators are not "morally required," yet they favor withholding one and not the other. They have no more come to grips with the realities of the situation than did 73% of the physicians they polled.

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