Death a personal choice – Orange County Register

Re: “Hands off D.C.’s, states’ laws on aid-in-dying” [Opinion, Aug. 8]: I have changed my opinion on the merits of being a Republican, and that can easily be explained. Many holier-than-thou Republicans offer a far-right conservative approach to issues too numerous to opine on now, but one that they are sticking their unwanted noses in is the “Death with Dignity Act.” They are taking a stand on a recently passed act by the Washington, D.C., council. They claim it is an affront to their moral compass to allow human beings with six months to live to take the medication or shots necessary to end their lives and not have to continually suffer.

Some doctors say that it is not incumbent on them to give their patients the wherewithal to end their lives. They call into question the Hippocratic oath with the saying, “I will utterly reject harm and mischief,” and not the words frequently inferred of “do no harm.” They claim the patient, for the most part, needn’t suffer with the palliative care they can be given, but what is the rationality of being kept alive even longer than six months against the will of the patient when there is no hope of recovery, but for a life languishing in bed waiting for nature to take its course?

Patients would think they have autonomy over their own lives by exercising their directive of choosing death with dignity. But they may be denied that directive by their doctor, who may disagree with ending their lives not so much due to a moral compass, but rather by strong religious convictions. It is not the God they believe in who speaks to them to deny the patient’s wishes, but instead their own interpretation of what His intention may be, thus channeling their own self-demi-God approach. It is best, in any case, to have a legal form with one’s doctor or lawyer regarding one’s desire whether or not to not use extraordinary means of keeping one alive when treatment doesn’t offer hope of a natural course of life. It is wise to make sure, when choosing a physician, that he or she will abide by your wishes.

— Barry Wasserman, Huntington Beach

No joke

Re: “We’re asking readers to share their favorite political joke” [Opinion, Aug. 8]: Was it tongue-in-cheek that you asked readers to tell a political joke, while just above was an editorial about the people of D.C.’s right to aid-in-dying? I can think of quite a few in Congress and the U.S. Senate that are doing that quite effectively all on their own,…

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