Throughout my life I have been present with family and friends during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, that is, when they are terminally ill. I have helplessly witnessed their suffering and wished there was a humane solution to bring them peace.
I have heard people say, “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to suffer.” In Massachusetts, people who are terminally ill may face unrelieved suffering, loss of dignity and diminished quality of life.
Therefore, I actively support the End of Life Options Act H1926/S1208, a bill which had a well-attended public hearing on June 25 by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health. Middlesex County legislators who are co-sponsors of this bill include Sens. Michael Barrett and Edward Kennedy.
Maine recently became the ninth state (plus Washington, D.C.) to pass a Death with Dignity law in the past 21 years. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in April that he would sign such a bill if the legislature passed the one under consideration.
I urge people who support Death with Dignity to contact their local representative, such as Rep. Sheila Harrington of Groton. Also, please call or email JCPH Co-Chair John Mahoney at firstname.lastname@example.org.