Shapiro cor­rect to sup­port aid in dy­ing

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - VIEWS & VOICES -

Ma­halo to David Shapiro for his ex­cel­lent col­umn on the death-with-dig­nity bill (“Deny­ing ‘death with dig­nity’ adds to pa­tients’ suf­fer­ing,” Star-Ad­ver­tiser, Vol­canic Ash, Feb. 4).

He showed once again that op­po­si­tion to this mea­sure is in­de­fen­si­ble: that states where it’s le­gal have not abused it; that it’s about com­pas­sion and hu­man­ity; and that in al­low­ing pa­tients and doc­tors to make their own in­formed de­ci­sions, it em­pow­ers and re­as­sures.

I hope this Leg­is­la­ture will show more spine than last year’s House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which aban­doned a hear­ing at the last mo­ment de­spite polls over­whelm­ingly in fa­vor of a med­i­cal aid in dy­ing bill.

Many of us have lost loved ones and wit­nessed the suf­fer­ing of a pro­longed, in­evitable death. When all hope is gone, we need to free physi­cians to work with pa­tients in choos­ing their own in­formed path to dy­ing. As Shapiro noted, we can suf­fer as much or as lit­tle as we choose, but we don’t have the right to make that de­ci­sion for oth­ers.

Jo­ce­lyn Fu­jii Makiki

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