Sculptor Ken Harrison is paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident, and is no longer able to create art, make love or have any semblance of his prior existence. Confined to a hospital, Harrison hires lawyer Carter Hill who, reluctantly at first, represents him to petition legally for the right to end his life.
Dr. Emerson, the hospital administrator, is staunchly opposed to euthanasia, and is determined to keep his patient alive even against his wishes. Dr. Scott, Harrison’s sympathetic physician, develops personal feelings for him. She wants to keep him alive, even though Harrison’s girlfriend, Pat, has accepted his decision.
A young orderly and a young nurse, John and Mary Jo (respectively), do what they can to keep Harrison’s spirits up, even wheeling him to a hospital basement where they treat him to reggae music and marijuana. In the end, though, it will be up to Judge Wyler whether Harrison has a moral, ethical and legal right to choose to die.