Massachusetts voters recently received a "red book" outlining the three ballot questions for the Nov. 6 election. We are writing in support of the Death with Dignity Act which appears as Question 2, "Prescribing Medication to End Life."
Death with Dignity laws, which have been approved by voters in two states -- Oregon in 1997 and Washington in 2008 -- recognize the right of individuals to make voluntary and informed decisions about their end-of-life care.
The issue for us is one of self determination and control. These laws, which are loaded with safeguards, allow terminally ill adults with less than six months to live the right to request and self-administer a prescription for life-ending medication. In addition, they encourage honest and compassionate conversation between terminally ill patients, their families and physicians -- conversations that are often currently avoided until it is too late, or do not occur at all. We believe that competent adults who face an end stage terminal illness deserve the dignity to learn about all their options and the ability to make the right choice for themselves.
This fall we have the ability to put control of this most important decision in the hands of the dying patient. Please vote YES on Question 2.
Kathleen McKnight, Philip McKnight, Judith Buhner, Linda White, Sarah Foehl, Gretchen Douglas, Joyce Lazarus, Gale Griffin, Dustin Griffin, Charles Fox, Robin Lehleitner, Melvin Krant, Ellen Bayliss and Van Ellet