Public-opinion polls have consistently shown that approximately 60 percent of the American public favors legal reform allowing physician-assisted death as a last resort to end the suffering of competent patients1. Yet the voters in Washington State in 1991 and California in 1992 narrowly defeated referendums that would have permitted physicians to prescribe or administer lethal treatment to terminally ill patients. The lack of adequate safeguards to protect vulnerable patients and prevent abuse may have been an important factor in the rejection of these legislative proposals2. In this article we describe a policy of legalized physician-assisted death restricted to.
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