Intended for healthcare professionals


US doctors win life support lawsuit

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 13 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1223

A court in the US has decided in favour of the doctors who took a terminally ill patient off life support. Their decision followed a lawsuit filed by one of the patient's daughters, Joan Gilgunn.

The lawsuit was filed against Drs William Dec and Edwin Cassem of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, seeking damages for the mental anguish that Joan Gilgunn claims to have suffered because her mother's wishes were not followed.

Courts in the US have debated many right to die cases over the past 20 years, in which doctors …

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