L.D. 347, An Act To Support Death With Dignity, is specifically for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It requires a terminal patient to take several steps to prove that they are making the choice that we all dread. This bill isn’t going to stop people from dying, but it will allow people to choose how that will happen.

This bill should make us ask ourselves, “If, ever the time comes, shouldn’t I get to make the choice that is best for me and my friends and family?”

People are opposed to this bill for many reasons, including doctors, those with religious reasons, those who are pro-life and people who are concerned about the effects on the disabled and elderly.

When I look at the people in opposition to this bill, I take comfort knowing that I respect their opinions and can honor their wishes about what the end of their life will look like. What I find appalling is that those same people cannot and will not respect or honor my wishes.

I have heard the question posed in the past, “What would we have lost if Stephen Hawking had make this choice?” Ironically, he said in a 2013 interview, “I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their lives and those that help them should be free from prosecution. We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?”

Ask your legislator to vote in support of this bill and show that you honor and respect the decision of each and every person as they choose what is best for themselves and their families at the end of their lives.

Staci Fowler

Gardiner