Removing a person's feeding tube may look like physician-assisted suicide or even euthanasia. But there is ample authority for the view that it is neither. The right that the Supreme Court recognized in Cruzan is not a "right to die" generally, but a more limited right to forgo unwanted medical procedures. If a patient could refuse potentially lifesaving treatment at the outset but not be allowed to discontinue the treatment once it began, many would probably not avail themselves of it in the first place.
UNWANTED MEDICAL PROCEDURES
A right to forgo treatment
The National Law Journal
March 2, 2009
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