Says death with dignity not suicide

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 19, 2014 

Your headline "More than 100 killed selves via Death with Dignity law," is misleading because it implies that the dying adult patients who utilized Washington's death-with-dignity law last year committed suicide. The connotation of the word "kill" also suggests that a violent, outside force is at work. In fact, the Washington law emphasizes that: "Actions taken in accordance with [the act] shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law."

Terminally ill patients who choose death with dignity find the suggestion that they are "killing themselves" or committing suicide deeply offensive, stigmatizing and inaccurate, hurtful and derogatory to them and their loved ones.

These people want to live, but their disease has pre-determined their fate. Many of them have endured years of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, surgery and even experimental treatments in order to survive. The proof of their will to live is that up to 40 of the 159 Washingtonians who received a death-with-dignity prescription last year did not take the medication.

People who use Washington's Death With Dignity Act want the option to die peacefully, at home, surrounded by their loved ones. It's their underlying illnesses that are "killing" them.

Dwight Moore

Blaine

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