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For terminally ill, easy way to pass on should be an option

Before Tom Keane lectures Massachusetts voters about the “worries” of physician assisted suicide (“Kevorkian comes to town,” Op-ed, Aug. 26), he should sit at the bedside of a loved one with a terminal diagnosis who wishes to pass on for whatever reason, whether it is quality of life, pain, or lack of mobility. I bet he would no longer fear “greedy heirs,” malevolent insurance companies, and the understandable ambiguity of a doctor’s estimate of how long one has to live. Instead, he would wish the loved one had control over his or her final moments, including when and where those final moments end.

Having watched both of my parents succumb to cancer-related illness, I find it abhorrent that neither of them had an easy way to choose when it was their time to pass. They might not have chosen to self-administer a prescription for life-ending medication, but shouldn’t they have had the option?

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Perhaps the truly selfish act is that of the person who insists that a terminally ill loved one who wishes to pass instead just hang on.



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