Never have I read a more poignant and thought provoking opinion piece than Ron Smith's last column for The Sun ("My work here is done," Nov. 18).

It seems cut and dried that realism is the proper philosophy when someone elects not to continue cancer treatment. But what about this idea called hope, the desire accompanied by expectation? Some oncologist or someone else might eventually come to say: "Hey, your tests have shown you are getting better. We've got a new promising drug that works wonders. You might feel a little worse but you're going to beat this."

It might be "a damn lie," but at least the individual would feel better in his last days. When a result is terminal, what difference does it make if an untruth is involved?

To bear false witness has been wrong from the beginning and with good reason. A recipient of a falsehood might be led to make incorrect choices. With a terminal illness, one has no choices. Maybe one would later look down from heaven and say, "Hey Doc, you lied to me and I'll never trust you again."

The atheists have criticized the believers for the "lies" of hope and faith. But are they lies? Maybe so, or maybe not.

George B Wroe, Glyndon