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Fatal Choices and Flawed Decisions at the End of Life: Lessons from Israel


This article presents a recent disconcerting event that took place at a rehabilitative nursing home in Tel Aviv in light of Israel's Dying Patient Law, which came into effect in 2005. It probes the double effect doctrine as it is relevant to the case at hand and the role of the medical profession and of the family in making decisions at the end of life, and it argues that patients who express a wish to die should receive a comprehensive care assessment that addresses their physical and mental condition before rushing to provide lethal medication. The article concludes by offering some guidelines to help practitioners address the intricate questions they face when patients ask to die.