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  1. J Carpenter
  1. Dakota Ridge Family Medicine, 2995 Baseline Road, Suite 210, Boulder, Co 80302 USA;

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    In the dialogue about assisted suicide, euthanasia, and palliative care, there is an often overlooked point of view. It involves opening the door in the patient to his or her own ability to let go of life.

    I had been physician to Marg for twelve years and we looked forward to our visits together. Six years earlier, the diagnosis and treatment of pernicious anaemia had led to improved mental activity and resolution of incontinence and vertigo. Shortly thereafter, she had signed a do not resuscitate (DNR) order and made it clear that she never wanted to live in any kind of nursing home or assisted living facility. She was fiercely independent, regal, courageous, and wilful. Well into her ninety first year, she lived alone.

    One day she fell; she managed to struggle to the emergency button. She was confused and incoherent. Her oxygen saturation was 67%. At the emergency room, she was diagnosed …

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