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The Nation

March 17, 1986

The American Medical Assn. announced a major change in its principles regarding the treatment of terminally ill and permanently incapacitated patients, maintaining that a doctor remains obligated to sustain life, not prolong it. The announcement came during a two-day symposium in New Orleans titled, "A New Ethic for the New Medicine." Dr. Nancy Dickey said the code of ethics has been revised to make it permissible to withhold food and water under some conditions from terminally ill patients and those in irreversible comas.

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