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Death with dignity not the same as euthanasia


Monday, October 23, 2017

I’d like to bring your attention to the headline used by The Recorder’s opinion page editorial staff to reference a letter to the editor on Oct. 16 in support of medical aid in dying, also known as death with dignity, written by Lisa Ahbel, R.N. The headline reads: “In Support of Euthanasia.”

The End of Life Options Act H1194 & S1225 (also known as medical aid in dying and death with dignity) is a bill that provides terminally ill patients that have a prognosis of six months or less to live the right, if they choose, to obtain a prescription from their physician to self-administer medication to end unbearable suffering and bring about a peaceful death. In other words, the patient is in full control throughout the process.

Euthanasia or mercy killing, on the other hand, is the painless killing of a patient by another person. In other words, the control is put into another’s hands.

The Massachusetts medical aid in dying bill is NOT about euthanasia. Please issue a retraction of that headline so that readers may be accurately informed.

Joan Milnes

Greenfield