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The stigma of suicide for those nearing the end of life

If the proposed physician assisted suicide legislation were referred to instead as "physician assisted end of life," perhaps the stigma attached would be more palatable ("Dying former official a focus of Maryland assisted suicide bill," Feb. 14).

Upon thinking on the subject, I have seen black white and gray, all of which are neutral. What boundaries would this law cross if instituted? Would it step on the line between church and state? Would it wreak some fearful monetary havoc in our palliative care industry? Are the suggestive use of the words in physician assisted suicide a condemnation of the solemnity of the Hippocratic oath?

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The Hippocratic oath is a moral document to protect human dignity; it implies a mutual agreement made between a healer and the sick. The consequences and depth of legislation to produce legality to this issue is broad indeed. So broad that when the fiery intellectual debates simmer to rest, we are sure to find a common thread that needles our existence.

Once the spirit flees and the pain is overwhelming, one may be honored to an assisted end of life.

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Lynn Moran, Baltimore

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