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Two Cheeseburgers, No Meat

Lately, I’ve been in a confessional mood. And as confessions are also a way of staking a little ground in this world, a way of claiming ownership, even of the things we are ashamed to admit, I proffer this small confession and grab for myself just a little more space. I’m not saying I’m proud of this. I’m just saying, this is how it is. And to those of similarly unrefined palate (you know who you are, even if you tell yourself the occasional drive-thru doesn’t count), I hereby admit to the rarest-of-rare pit stops at McDonald’s. Now, to be fair, ...

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The Conservatorship of A Body

It was September 1993 when Robert Wendland flipped his pickup truck off a freeway in Lodi, California. By the time I was writing about him in 2001, he had been living with a feeding tube down his throat for eight years. I was working as a researcher and writer in the Program in Medical Ethics at UC San Francisco and we were closely following the final stages of a trial that had raged on for six of those eight years and that had divided the Wendland family, who now sat on both sides of the courtroom. The trial hinged on the ...