For a decade or so before my melanoma, I had been an active member of the New York Stereoscopic Society; I had enjoyed playing with stereoscopes and stereo illusions since childhood. Seeing the world in depth always seemed as natural, as integral to my visual world as color vision. It gave me a sense of the solidity of objects and the reality of spacethe wonderful, transparent medium in which they resided. I was keenly conscious of how my visual world instantly collapsed if I closed one eye and reexpanded the moment I opened it again. Like many of my fellow members of the Stereoscopic Society, I seemed to live in a deeper world, visually, than most people. The case set a binding precedent only in part of California, but these concepts had gained wide acceptance by the time of Katrina. The US Supreme Court in 1990 considered the case of thirty-three-year-old Nancy Cruzan, severely brain damaged in a Missouri car accident years earlier, whose parents sought to remove the feeding tube that nourished her. The Court agreed by a five-to-four margin that the right to liberty included the right to refuse life-sustaining medical care and die. However, the ruling allowed states to require clear and convincing proof of the patients wishes to discontinue care, not just what was believed to be in the patients best interest. A Missouri judge allowed Cruzans nutrition to be discontinued after acquaintances gave evidence this would have been her wish. The case led to increased adoption of living wills and advance directives that documented treatment preferences prior to a catastrophe. encephalopathy, ref 1 Going off benicar
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Frank Smith
Director
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