Death with Dignity Bill: It’s simply about choice

BRATTLEBORO — I urge all Vermonters to ask their state senators and representatives to push the Death With Dignity Bill out of committee and let the full Legislature debate the issue.

The bills, H.274 and S.103, follow the precedent set by passage over 10 years ago of the law in Oregon. This is not a religious issue, or one about slippery slopes or euthanasia. It will not disadvantage the disabled or the elderly. It's simply about choice.

It's about allowing an individual who has a terminal illness with less than six months to live to ask their doctor for medication to end their life with dignity and compassion.

There are many safeguards to keep the law from being abused, and there have been no cases of abuse reported in Oregon or Washington state.

Maybe you wouldn't use this law yourself, but allow others the peace of mind to utilize this process if they want to. Many of the people in Oregon who request the medication never use it, but they have peace knowing the option is available.

This is a debate that this great state should undertake, one similar to the discussion about, and the subsequent law that was passed, enabling same-sex marriage.

Talk to your lawmakers and tell them you support it and want this bill brought to the entire body.

For more information, visit patientchoices.org.

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