Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Dying is an integral part of living

Dying is an integral part of living

L'chaim —to life.

My worlds connected on Thanksgiving Day as I watched the Macy's Parade and enjoyed the words to the much-loved song from Fiddler on the Roof, "to life, to life, l'chaim ... l'chaim, l'chaim to life." It's the traditional Jewish toast to a person's well-being.

As a volunteer for a group called Compassion & Choices, I am immersed in the push to pass the aid-in-dying bill that will be coming before the Maryland legislature in January. It is a way to provide greater "well being" for dying patients who choose self-determination at the end of life in the face of immense suffering and incapacity. The bill would allow a competent, terminally...