This is an excellent letter on "choice" that was written by Jan Tobin from Mount Vernon in Washinton State.
Is this the choice we want?
Washington State and Skagit County voters made suicide an acceptable choice. The word “choice,” once so mature and freeing, has been perverted. Choice becomes “pressure” on the ill, the elderly and those persons with a handicap to go quickly without being a burden to family or caregivers.
In June, an Anacortes man called Evans Funeral Chapel to state that he was taking the pills. Perhaps he didn’t want his family questioned. His death is recorded from his disease.
Ed Raintree, 68, is in Hospice care (Skagit Living section, July 18). Ed’s doctor told him one year ago he had six months to live. Has a required second doctor examined Ed and stated that Ed is terminal? Ed has permission (from Washington state voters) to take pills to kill himself. Ed thinks he will take the pills by 2012 if he isn’t gone by then. Ed says if he becomes horizontal, he will take the pills sooner.
A person can fly to Switzerland to get “aid in dying” for a fee. The same service is proposed to be offered in Oregon.
Australia’s Dr. Philip Nitschke personally set up his North American branch, Final Exit North, in Bellingham in November 2009. It is close to Montana and Oregon where physician-assisted suicide is also legal.
The number of covered Oregon medical procedures was reduced after Oregon voters chose to permit assisted suicide. People have been offered the death pill through a form letter. The form letter stated they would not be provided funds for a particular pill that would extend life and help relieve pain. The death pill would be paid for.
Is this what we want through "choice"?
Link to the letter: http://www.goskagit.com/home/article/letters_to_the_editor_august_1_2010/