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Court says adults have right to refuse medical treatment

A state appeals court ruled unanimously Thursday that competent adults have a constitutional right to refuse medical treatment. The case was filed on behalf of William F. Bartling, who had asked doctors treating him to disconnect him from life-support systems. Hospital officials refused, and Mr. Bartling died while under the forced treatment. The ruling in his favor came nearly two months after his passing. The court said doctors would have borne no liability had they discontinued the treatment.

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