Letters to the Editor

Californians got it right on assisted suicide

I read with great interest, and greater ire, the Pro/Con viewpoints on assisted suicide published in the Oct. 10 Tribune. Finding the panoramic perspective offered by Merrill Matthews to be a 180-degree contrast to the facts of life (and death) cited by John C. Goodman prompts this blowback.

How anyone — who actually has gone through the tragedy of dealing with the piece-by-piece dying that, all too often, is part and parcel of the cancer-ridden’s destiny — can not be a supporter of that individual’s choice in how to exit life seems incomprehensible. Pain may be mitigated, but when the so-called qualities of life have all but vanished, who are we to deny that person’s educated choice as to how, and when, death should occur?

The right to die is just that, a right. One that cannot be forced upon the individual. A choice with medical safeguards, a choice that only affects the immediate family. One that can hardly be viewed as lowering the nation’s overall quality of medicine, or undermining the sanctity of life, as offered in Matthew’s litany of the dangers of opening doors that cannot be closed when threatened by the legalization of assisted suicide.

We Californians got it right. And, by so doing, many of us will have the peace and sanctity that we deserve, and need, when it is our time to slip the mortal coil.


Nancy Aaron, Morro Bay