Letter: Patient should control end-of-life decision

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I am a terminally ill cancer patient; the perfect example of someone who could benefit from the passing of LD 1270, “An Act Regarding Patient-Directed Care at End of Life.” Believe me, I am in no hurry to die (I am only 55), but there is no cure for my metastatic colon cancer. It would give me great peace of mind to have access to a drug that I could take if the suffering gets to be too much.

There are many ways to end one’s life, of course, but only with significant added trauma for both me and my family, and for the public as well. Why should some innocent dog-walker have to discover a body in the woods, or why should the public pay for search-and-rescue folks to come look for me, should I go missing from my home one day? LD 1270 would provide me a kinder and gentler way out. Safeguards are written into the bill so only a mentally competent adult can get the prescription, and only from a willing doctor. The drug must be self-administered. This protects the elderly and the disabled. In states that have the law in place, many patients end up not taking the drug: just having it on hand gives a sense of control and peace. Those who do not need or like this bill are free to ignore it. But for those of us who have terminal illness, having control over our end of life would be a great relief. Please support LD 1270.

Eva Thompson