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Renowned Doctor Passes Away

y of Pennsylvania, ‘When families locked horns with hospitals, he squared off with state and federal officials for their rights. He was a defender of free choice and families' wishes, but thought it was pointless and futile — and not a good use of society's resources — to sustain a person who would not recover.’

In the 1980's, Dr. Cranford had lobbied for the formation of ethics committees within hospitals to consider questions raised by ever more effective life-support systems. Once considered to be unusual, ethics committees have since become commonplace in hospitals nationwide.

'Right now,' he told The New York Times in 1984, 'we are beginning to realize that our wonderful medical advances enable us to prolong the dying process. The first question is, Should we? And then come all the others: Who lives? Who dies? How do you decide? When do you decide? Who decides?'

Ronald Eugene Cranford hailed from Peoria, Ill. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois and as assistant professor of neurology at Minnesota in 1971.

From 1987 to 1988, he was president of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. He was a former president of the Minnesota Society of Neurological Sciences.

Dr. Cranford is survived by his wife of 19 years, Candy as well as his two daughters, Kristin Cranford of Long Beach, Calif., and Robyn Moder of Beverly Hills, Calif.; a son, Craig Losure of Glencoe, Minn.; a brother, Tom Cranford of Peoria; and two grandchildren.

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