Friday, May 18, 2012

Boston Globe: Philip Moran & Karen Schneiderman

May 13, 2012


“Dying Wishes” in the April 29 Globe Magazine refers to “Death with Dignity” instead of what it really is: “physician-assisted suicide.” As stated by then chief justice William Rehnquist in the 1997 case of Washington v. Glucksberg, “An examination of our Nation’s history, legal traditions, and practices demonstrates that Anglo American common law has punished or otherwise disapproved of assisted suicide for over 700 years.” He goes on to state that there are at least five government interests to support that history.  They are prohibiting killing and preserving human life; preventing the serious public health problem of suicide, especially among the young, the elderly, and those suffering from untreated pain or depression; protecting the medical profession’s integrity; protecting the poor, elderly, disabled, and persons in other vulnerable groups from pressure to end their lives; and avoiding a possible slide toward voluntary and even involuntary euthanasia. I submit these are more than sufficient reasons to vote “No” on this ballot question.
Philip D. Moran / Salem 

With fear and rage I respond to the article “Dying Wishes.” A ballot question? The idea of people voting on the worth of a human being is sickening, but my greatest fear has to do with the notion that if a person chooses to request assistance dying, that person is clearly depressed. During such depression it is impossible to make a clear decision. We all have such periods, sick or not, but almost always, with time or therapy or medication or support, that feeling goes away. As a person with a lifelong disability, I have had serious health crises and wished to terminate my life, but I have been fortunate to have medical care and family and friends to help me through my struggles. Those who are not so fortunate rely on the medical establishment. For those of us with disabilities and for elderly folks, our value in this society is already less significant, and we need to rely on physicians to help keep us alive, rather than kill us in the name of compassion.
Karen Schneiderman / Jamaica Plain