In end-of-life care, selflessness should not be patient’s job

The way Joanne Costa’s family has come together to make her feel valued is exemplary (“Impromptu family prolongs a life,” Page A1, Jan. 2), but I found the implications of the piece disturbing.

The social worker at Costa’s care facility indicates that when a person chooses to fight death, they may not be considering the domino effect on the person’s family. The article bemoans that the sacrifices families make are seldom mentioned in debates over end-of-life ethics.


The view that the right to die can sometimes become the moral duty to die places us on quite a perilous path. This is why disability rights activists oppose physician-assisted suicide.

Lisa Blumberg

West Hartford, Conn.

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