Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Maryland needs Mizeur's death with dignity law [Letter]

I disagree, strongly, with Ms. Catalfamo's letter ("Assisted suicide is not the answer," April 21), asserting that Del. Heather Mizeur's position on allowing aid in dying in Maryland is "perverted" and inconsistent with "a decent democracy." For me, and for many other seniors, respect for and support of an individual's end-of-life choices is absolutely central to American principles and values.

I believe that most of us are unable to imagine what it is like to suffer from a terminal illness. Not only do those patients often experience intractable pain, but they may also endure the loss of all those activities and personal connections that make their lives meaningful and joyful.

A Maryland law that allows people who have a terminal illness to achieve a peaceful death, including the possibility of sharing their last moments with loving friends and family, is a matter of individual freedom. The lack of such a law is "democracy" overriding personal liberty at one of the most important junctures in one's life.

Ms. Catalfamo points to the possibility of manipulation by family members. These concerns, however, are addressed, as they have been in Washington and Oregon (where there have been no instances of abuse or coercion), by safeguards in the law that protect against such intrusions on the patient's decision-making.

Ms. Catalfamo is correct that end-of-life choices are not objective. Indeed, they are completely subjective, and that is precisely the point. Our democracy, in making the choice that Ms. Mizeur supports available for terminally ill patients, validates the autonomy of each citizen — something at the core of our shared values.

I agree with Heather Mizeur. Maryland law should be changed to allow mentally competent, terminally ill adults to legally choose aid in dying when palliative and hospice care can no longer provide, for them, a satisfactory life.

Alan D. Eason, Catonsville

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Polls are not in public interest
    Polls are not in public interest

    Mileah Kromer discusses the reasons that the results of pre-election polls concerning the race for governor were largely incorrect, particularly the timing of the polls on which media and the campaigns relied ("Hogan and Brown: tortoise and hare?" Nov. 12). I do not doubt that she is largely...

  • Purple Maryland
    Purple Maryland

    It's safe to say the election is over, and we are all anxious to see what "color" our state will be. Are we now red with a base of blue or still blue with a splash of red ("Republican sees spending as key for governor-elect," Nov. 14)?

  • Race played no role in Hogan win
    Race played no role in Hogan win

    I read Thomas Schaller's column ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11) regarding Larry Hogan's win over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election. He basically states that the areas Mr. Hogan won had more white people then black.

  • Reader to The Sun: Hogan won, get used to it
    Reader to The Sun: Hogan won, get used to it

    I agree with letter writer David Byran that Governor-elect Larry Hogan has done Maryland and the entire country a great service ("Good riddance to "O'Malley," Oct. 10).

  • Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?
    Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?

    I couldn't decide whether I was more amused or bemused by Richard J. Cross III's op-ed about the possible Democratic candidates for governor four years from now ("Who will challenge Hogan in 2018?" Nov. 15).

  • Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections
    Enough with the talk of race in analyzing elections

    Race, racism, racist. I am so tired of hearing these words whenever a candidate loses or a policy is defeated ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11). Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown lost to Larry Hogan because Mr. Brown ran one of the worst campaigns in recent Maryland elections. He even...

Comments
Loading