My Letter to the Editor – Death with Dignity Legislation in New Jersey

It must be at least five years since I have felt strongly enough about an issue to write a letter to the editor! My letter below was published today:

Press of Atlantic City – Voice of the People

04 Feb 2015

Approve bill to allow death with dignity:

The “Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill” bill (S382) will be up for a state Senate vote soon. It would permit a terminally ill patient to self-administer medication to end life in a humane and dignified manner. Only adults of sound mind would qualify for access to this measure.

I’ve watched several friends die of cancer. It is clear to me that pain control is an inexact science. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

A close friend of mine died of lung cancer four months ago. She endured grueling treatments and exceeded the expected survival for her type of cancer by many months. A few weeks before her death, she told me she was ready to die and felt frustrated that New Jersey prohibited her from obtaining a lethal drug like those available in Oregon and Vermont.

I don’t want to end up dying slowly and in pain.

I support the right of the individual to make this intensely personal medical decision. I urge everyone to look at this legislation, decide what you want for yourself and loved ones and contact your state senator.

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