SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 1, 2012

Letters: In support of Question 2

To the editor:

My mom has fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. There are days that her hands are so sore she wants to cut her fingers off. I hate to see her go through the pain and suffering that she does. In her case, these ailments aren’t fatal. But imagine if they were. Would you want to see a loved one go through daily pain and suffering, knowing that it will end with his or her death in six months or less? I know I wouldn’t. I would want to end the suffering for them as soon as I could.

Opponents of Question 2 say it is “flawed” because it does not require the patient to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before getting the end-of-life prescription, fearing most would be too depressed to make a legitimate decision. Really? They’ve just been given a “death sentence” of six months or less, how many do you think are not going to be depressed? They also portray the prescription of 100 pills in an inaccurate light. The patient doesn’t “pop” all 100 at the same time, but rather takes one or two every few hours over a period of days. The dosage of each pill is low enough that if it got into the wrong hands (or mouth), it would not be dangerous.

I find it rather amusing that we “humanely” destroy our pets or other animals, but let Grandma or Aunt Jane suffer needlessly until finally the time comes. I am not going to get into a debate about the “merits” of abortion, but in general it is “accepted” as part of our society, having been legal for more than 40 years now. So, I have to ask, how is it OK to end a life before it really has started, but not to end a life that is just filled with suffering?

Peter Bakula

Peabody

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