Letter to the Editor: Empowering the dying

I have to wonder how many who oppose this HB 140, Death with Dignity legislation have walked this path with a terminally ill family member facing a painful death. Providing liberties to some does not have to mean taking them away from others. Self determination cannot end at the point it makes others uncomfortable.

Yes, there have to be safeguards. However as the mother of an adult with a developmental disability, I am not afraid that his life or well being are at risk if this passes. Neither I nor anyone who knows our son believed his disability is a terminal illness or a burden. It is simply part of who he is. Those of us who love him have dedicated ourselves to helping those around him appreciate who he is. He is happy and safe and protected.

I don’t know if I were faced with a terminal diagnosis and the possibility of a painful death what choices I would make. I don’t know if my family members who faced these conditions would have taken the route available in this legislation. However I do know that just as every other choice had to be theirs and theirs alone, and that my role was to love and support them through whatever available treatment options they chose, it was not my place to limit what was available to them.

We can protect those who are vulnerable and improve the quality of health care and provide an empowered choice for those who are dying. We can focus on those who are living and those who are dying.

Kelly Grube
Ocean View

EDITOR’S NOTE: After the House Health & Human Development Committee heard testimony from speakers on House Bill 140, the main sponsor Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, requested the committee hold no vote on it.

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