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People should have a choice about dying

Ray Perman, a terminal cancer patient, talks about his cancer journey and his experience with an end-of-life option.

In a recent letter condemning the End-of-Life Options Act, Dr. Janet D. Conway wrote that “what is driving this unfortunate bill is fear” (“Fear is driving support of medically assisted suicide,” March 5). Dr. Conway may be correct, but she is drawing the wrong conclusion.

At end of life, the fear of pain, the fear of being a burden and the fear of losing control are all very real fears. A doctor, no matter how good, cannot alleviate these fears and supportive agencies can go only so far in addressing these legitimate concerns of a dying patient.The question is, who decides how one may die when death is imminent?

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Patronizing claims by many that the government or our health care system should be there to protect those who are dying fails to acknowledge the rights of the individual in making this decision based on his or her own unique life experiences, beliefs and desires.The End-of-Life Options Act provides that the individual should have the right to make life and death decisions about their own lives, not the government.

If persons don’t want to take advantage of the provisions of this bill, they don’t have to. It’s a choice, one that we would trust individuals to make for themselves.

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Michael and Joanne Davis, Annapolis

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