Answer Key: The Doctor’s Dilemma

Lesson Plan: The  Doctor’s Dilemma : Helping Patients to Die…or Not

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. palliative |ˈpalēˌādivˈpalēədiv| adjective-(of a treatment or medicine) relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying cause: short-term, palliative measures had been taken.
  2. pioneer |ˌpīəˈnir| noun-• a person who is among the first to research and develop a new area of knowledge or activity: a famous pioneer of birth control.
  3. lethal |ˈlēTHəl| adjective- sufficient to cause death: a lethal cocktail of alcohol and pills.
  4. hasten |ˈhās(ə)n| verb [ no obj., with infinitive ] be quick to do something: he hastened to refute the assertion.
  5. ethical |ˈeTHək(ə)l| adjective-morally good or correct: can a profitable business be ethical?
  6. probe |prōb| verb [- no obj. ] seek to uncover information about someone or something: he began to probe into Donald’s whereabouts | [ with obj. ] : police are probing another murder.
  7. terminal |ˈtərmənl| adjective-(of a disease) predicted to lead to death, especially slowly; incurable: terminal cancer.
  8. abandoned |əˈband(ə)nd| adjective- having been deserted or cast off: an abandoned car | abandoned pets.
  9. obligation |ˌäbləˈɡāSH(ə)n| noun-an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment: he has enough cash to meet his present obligations |
  10. mitigate |ˈmidəˌɡāt| verb [ with obj. ]- make less severe, serious, or painful: he wanted to mitigate misery in the world.

Source:  New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- In June 2016, California became the fourth in the nation to allow medical aid in dying.
  2. F- The details of patient selection and protocol, even the composition of the lethal compound, are left to the individual doctor or hospital policy.
  3. T- The author felt that  she wasn’t fully prepared to deal with the new law.
  4. T- The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest association of doctors, has been formally opposed to the practice for 23 years.
  5. F- The  author’s first patient died in a nursing home, of natural causes, three months later.
  6. F- Dr. Lonny Shavelson is  an emergency medicine and primary care physician in Northern California.
  7. T- Catholic health systems do not participate in the program.
  8. F- Dr. Shavelson does not offer the medications to most of the patients who request them.
  9. T- One problem is payment, because many insurers won’t cover it.
  10. T-Doctors worry that public hospital patients like mine will not be able to afford this degree of care.


 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage


His patient intake procedures are time-consuming.


He counts these cases among his greatest successes.


These are inequities we must address.