I read with interest the proposed legislation, L.D. 347, An Act to Support Death with Dignity, and L.D. 1066, An Act to Support Life with Dignity. The titles are misnomers. The words may sound innocuous and compassionate, but what the bill in effect does, is give a physician the authority to end a patient’s life by prescribing a lethal dose of medication.

This is contrary to what physicians are trained and educated to do. Physicians provide not only medical care to their patients but a lot of support and encouragement to help people cope. In times of illness and trauma we look to our physicians to help us regain a better perspective of life and wellness, not to offer a quicker and cheaper way out. Physician-assisted suicide is irreversible.

Pain management and end-of-life care through hospice has improved considerably in Maine, no doubt about it. No one looks forward to suffering whether as individuals or as family members. We shall all face the end of life as we know it, and I would expect both as a patient and someone in health care that the appropriate management of pain and suffering will be sustained.

The one death that is dignified is the natural one, without human enhancement. No health care provider should be placed in the position of prescribing the fatal dose. No government should sanction it.

Myra Broadway

Gardiner


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