In favor of death with dignity

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I applaud The Recorder’s Jan. 3 editorial in favor of the legislature passing The End of Life Options Act, (H1194 and S1225), which would give our citizens who are terminally ill and mentally capable, the option of a peaceful, humane death if their pain is unmanageable and unbearable.

I support this bill, also known as the medical aid in dying, or Death with Dignity bill, because terminally ill citizens of Massachusetts should have the legal ability to be able to choose, when the time comes, to hasten their death.

If passed, Massachusetts would join California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Vermont and Washington, D.C. This bill has strong safeguards and it forces no one to be a part of the process if they choose not to. The Massachusetts Medical Society recently changed its position on this issue from opposed to neutral. Five towns; Northampton, Amherst, Lexington, Provincetown and Cambridge have voted in favor of asking the committee to report this bill out to the full Legislature.

The bill is currently before the Joint Committee on Public Health and the deadline for a decision to move the bill for a vote before the full legislature is Feb. 7. If the bill does not progress, we will have to wait until 2019 to introduce it. Please contact the co-chairs of the Joint Public Health Committee: Sen. Jason Lewis (jason.lewis@masenate.gov, 617-722-1206) and Rep. Kate Hogan (kate.hogan@mahouse.gov, 617-722-2130). Urge them to pass H1225 S1994.

Thomas A. Wilson, D.D.S

Shelburne Falls