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Best Letters to the Editor, September 2019

September 30, 2019

In newspapers across the U.S., advocates, patients, medical professionals, and elected leaders are voicing their support for assisted dying. Here are the best letters to the editor published in September 2019.

Georgia

“‘Death with dignity’ option may come to a state near you,” Augusta Chronicle, 9/7/2019

“As my own life and that of my loved ones comes closer to death and the potential of unwanted suffering, I desire options, not restrictions on this most personal decision.” —Savannah, Georgia resident Robert Pawlicki, PhD

Illinois

“Medical aid in dying needs support,” Pantagraph, 9/20/2019

Illinois physician David M. Gill questions the narrative that hospice care and medical aid in dying cannot go hand in hand. “Hospice and medical aid in dying do not represent adversarial positions,” he writes. “Both serve to empower patients and to ease suffering. As medical director of a hospice and as a longtime advocate of medical aid in dying, I believe that both options are invaluable. Hospice services are terrific, but allowing patients the option of easily ending their misery, when they so choose, would also be of great benefit.

“Hopefully our elected representatives will soon catch up with the rest of society and legalize medical aid in dying.”

Massachusetts

“Public should support bill allowing peaceful death for terminally ill,” Andover Townsman, 9/12/2019.

Andover, Massachusetts resident Richard Davis is a hospice volunteer and a frequent host of Death Cafes, where people convene to discuss issues around death and dying. “I have learned many things,” Richard writes, “but perhaps foremost among them is a deep respect for the wishes of those who are dying – specifically the desire of some to end their pain, their suffering, their certainty of the end of their lives and the knowledge that a peaceful, meaningful, well-planned death should be their right and their privilege.” He urges his fellow Massachusetts residents to contact their legislators and urge them to pass the End of Life Options Act.

“Letter: Aid in Dying Bill Deserves Support,” Worcester Telegram, 9/25/2019

“My late father Bill Densmore was a strong advocate for end-of-life options,” writes Deb Cary. “I support the End of Life Options Act because people need to be able to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. Massachusetts has the opportunity to be the next state to provide this vital option for people to choose and better control their end of life.”

Minnesota

“Chris Eaton: My end-of-life bill lets people make decisions about their health care if they can — and it protects those who can’t,” Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 9/15/2019

Minnesota State Senator Chris Eaton is sponsoring a death with dignity bill. “Medical aid in dying is supported by a majority of Minnesotans…who want the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions at the end of life.”

Ohio

“Give terminally ill Ohioans access to end-of-life options,” Cleveland.com, 9/18/2019

Our Board member Lisa Vigil Schattinger, who also founded and leads our partner organization, Ohio End of Life Options, penned this powerful editorial advocating for death with dignity in Ohio.

“Twenty-two percent of Americans live in states where they can obtain medical assistance with dying. But Ohioans cannot, even though a recent poll showed that a majority of Ohioans, regardless of religion or political party, want the option. The General Assembly should act to give Ohioans access to all health care options at the end of life.”

Wisconsin:

Empower people to have more control over the end of their lives,” Madison.com, 9/24/2019

Wisconsin legislators introduced a death with dignity bill on September 19. Sharon Gaskill, a Wisconsinite and a supporter of medical aid in dying, urges her legislators to pass the bill.

“The option for a patient to seek a painless end is not a choice that many or most would make, but it is a choice that should be available,” Gaskill writes.

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