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letters | DEBATING QUESTION 2

Assisted suicide opposed by left, right, and many in between

In his column “Whose life is it, anyway?” (Metro, Oct. 22), Adrian Walker strongly implies that opposition to Question 2 is a right-wing position. In particular, he cites the opposition of the Catholic Church and “right-wing groups who seem to view [Question 2] as an element of a left-wing, pro-gay agenda,” but he does not mention that Question 2 is being opposed by groups including the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Hospice and Palliative Care Federation, and the American Medical Directors Association.

Also opposed to Question 2 is the African-American newspaper the Bay State Banner, which has been criticized for taking a position supposedly at odds with its generally progressive agenda. But progressives should not be fooled: Question 2 is not a liberal proposition; it is a libertarian one. Its failure to require counseling or family notification represents a larger failure to recognize that none of us in this life is completely autonomous, and that we all exist in a web of relationships that entail obligations to one another.

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Liberals criticize conservatives for telling people that they are on their own to cope with the hardships of life. Why should liberals want to say that very thing to people coping with terminal illness?

Daniel Penrice

Cambridge

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