You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

2

3

▼  6th Inning 0 outs

letters

Easing way to suicide does not qualify as compassion

It’s disingenuous for proponents of Question 2 to argue that the primary reason people choose physician-assisted suicide is to eliminate physical suffering. Statistics from the three states that allow physician-assisted suicide don’t support that theory. For example, in Oregon loss of autonomy and the decreased ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable were among the most commonly reported reasons patients gave for requesting physician-assisted suicide.

I applaud people for promoting compassion, but true compassion means alleviating suffering while maintaining solidarity with those who suffer. It does not mean putting lethal drugs in the hands of depressed people and abandoning them to suicide.

Continue reading below

Advances in palliative care make it possible to treat pain and give dying patients a choice other than killing themselves. Laws that allow physician-assisted suicide undermine a health care provider’s ability and willingness to provide such care.

As home to some of the greatest medical facilities in the world, the state of Massachusetts should focus on eliminating suffering, not eliminating the sufferer.

Mark O’Neill

Springfield, Va.

The writer is a member of Catholic Voices USA.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.