LETTER TO THE EDITOR: End of Life Options Act shows lack of respect

I am truly dismayed and disappointed in our legislators and the legislation coming from our state government lately. For instance, the attempts to legalize marijuana while battling an opioid overdose crisis while the DOC, the courts, drug abuse treatment clinics and case workers assigned to monitor the progress of DUI offenders are stretched to the max. Now add lowering the blood alcohol level to that mix and our poor law enforcement agencies will be pulling out what little hair they have left on their heads.

Then let’s talk about HB 160, The End of Life Options Act. How in the world people come up with these ideas is beyond my understanding? Do you really wish to impose on our friends, neighbors and family members a death sentence because they are weak, elderly, or ill and call it compassionate health care? Really? Who gets to decide who lives or dies and who will profit from that death?

In 1986 our son was involved in an accident involving a drunk driver that left him comatose for 19 long months. He was hooked to a respirator to help him breathe for more than seven of those months and was finally able to be weaned off the respirator. More than one person asked us, “Why don’t you just disconnect him from the respirator?” Our answer was he is our son, he is God’s gift to us and we love him and while he is still breathing there is still hope.

The Medical Society of Delaware states that this bill is fundamentally inconsistent with their roles as physicians and healers, citing the Hippocratic Oath that says the medical field will do no harm? No one in our society has the right to make a decision to kill another person. It is why you repealed the death penalty in Delaware.

Now you wish to give some doctors the right to legally kill another person, to become legal murders. It just doesn’t make any sense. You gave women and some doctors the right to kill totally innocent and helpless babies and now you are coming after the rest of us.

People diagnosed with and dealing with terminal illnesses, disabilities, or with the problems of aging need to know that we still love them and value them as members of our society and our families. They need to feel the respect and love that they are entitled to as members of our society. They don’t need to worry about getting sick or older and wondering if the doctor coming into their room is coming in to kill them or will be compassionate to them to aid them in healing or remaining comfortable in the final years or months of their life.

We do not know where opening this Pandora’s Box of bad legislation will lead us. So, I am asking the legislators in my district Rep. Bobby Outten and Sen. David Lawson to remember the commandment “Thou shall not kill” which also transferred to our own set of laws, statutes and ordinances and vote an emphatic No on HB 160 and I am imploring all legislators in Delaware to vote No on HB 160 as well. Please contact the legislators in your district and let them know how you feel about this bill with far reaching and unforeseen outcomes.

Rose Pritchett

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