Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday)

What does appropriat­e end-of-life care look like?


What with his multi-pronged arguments, from being wary of depressed individual­s making life-changing decisions to the slippery slope of safeguards being worn down by interested lobbyists, and the frightenin­g scenario of settled legislatio­n meant for adults reaching down to and affecting even children, I thought Bryan Just’s piece in the March 31 opinion section was the most cogent I had heard in years on a subject

... until I reminded myself the subject was medical-aid-in-dying and not gun legislatio­n (as well as a host of other issues one could name).

Otherwise, this letter might be offering kudos to Mr. Just for illuminati­ng the “language game” employed by cynics who use the words “God-given-American-right” in place of “Second Amendment aid in dying.” Or, right on for the recognitio­n that people suffering mentally should probably receive more scrutiny, if not an outright denial, attempting to exercise this particular right.

But given his obfuscatio­n (just what does Mr. Just consider appropriat­e end-of-life care?) and a not-so-thinly-veiled faith-based approach (under the aegis of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity), I would only like to make a plea that Mr. Just demonstrat­e his beliefs by having faith that the God who gave us science and medicine also had the ability to create well-informed, non-one-issue-voting, sentient beings who could judge for themselves how and when, at the end of their lives or facing a terminal illness, they would like to go and meet Him.

It is too bad Mr. Just does not have the courage, demonstrat­ed by so many who are left with that final decision, to direct his well-stated arguments to areas where they might do some good in preserving dignity for those who live, still, in trying times.

Jim Koppenstei­ner, Niles

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