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Letter: Aid in dying is not at all the same as assisted suicide

Aid in dying is not at all the same as assisted suicide

I need to respond to the long article in the July 3 paper, “New Yorkers Should Reject Assisted Suicide.” I noticed at the end of the article that it was written by Dr. Gloria Roetzer, who is past president of the local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association. I am glad she presented her credentials and I now assume she is an abiding Catholic and takes her religion very strongly.

Therefore, it is only natural that she is against assisted suicide as she calls it because her faith prohibits her to believe otherwise. I am a long-time member of Compassion and Choice and I believe strongly in “aid in dying.” The planned New York State law, if passed, would state that “aid in dying would be available to mentally capable adults who have a terminal disease with a prognosis of six months or less and request it. A doctor prescribes aid in dying medication, which the person takes when and if they choose, to bring about a peaceful death if the dying process becomes unbearable.” Aid in dying is not euthanasia.

I accept Roetzer’s values, but she also has to accept mine. My aunt in the Netherlands decided to end her life after many years of continuing cancer tumors and treatments. I sat with her for an hour, five days before she died, and she was very lucid and very thankful that she lived in a country where her dignified and peaceful death was possible.

Joyce H. Bol