Regarding the Feb. 15 front-page article “Rehm’s topic: Death with self-determination”:
In 2009, I lost a beautiful, physically healthy 30-year-old daughter to suicide after a 16-year battle with substance abuse and other issues. It was like an atom bomb dropped on our family.
Despite all of our efforts to save her over the years, my daughter told me that she learned how to kill herself from visiting suicide/assisted suicide Web sites and reading Derek Humphry’s book “Final Exit.” Her death was neither dignified nor peaceful. My Marie was one of the almost 40,000 suicides reported that year.
In contrast, about 800 assisted-suicide deaths have been reported in the past 16 years in Oregon. Our real health-care crisis is an enormous and increasing suicide rate , not the lack of enough assisted suicides.
Over my 45 years of nursing, I have cared for several suicidal people. Professionally and personally, I will always try to prevent the suicide of any person. However, it is a fact that tall buildings, cars in closed garages, etc., are easily available if a person is determined to die.
But the assisted-suicide movement still demands the help of medical professionals and the approval of society. That help and approval should be denied for the good of the individual and society itself.
Nancy Valko, St. Louis
The writer is a spokeswoman for the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses.