Despite the headline on the March 28 Metro article “Assisted suicide bill fails in Md.,” the article got it right. It explained that the “aid in dying” legislation that was recently defeated in Maryland would make it legal for doctors to prescribe medication to terminally ill patients. That is the point of assisted-death legislation: It is for terminally ill patients. It is not suicide. This right to choose is our ultimate right.
I understand there are people who may not wish to end their own lives with medication, even if they are weeks away from death and in pain. I respect their right. I am not one of those people. I do not want to spend my last weeks in a coma unable to communicate, as I have watched so many die. I want to be able to say goodbye to my husband, three daughters, my sons-in-law, my six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren before I depart this world.
When I was young, there were no such life-preserving devices as ventilators, feeding tubes and all the electronic equipment we now use. These lifesaving devices are wonderful for people who have long lives ahead of them when they recover, not for people who are terminally ill.
Assisted-death medication is for people who are in the final days, weeks or months of life.
My question to Maryland legislators is: How can the state deny medication to me when I am making the final decision about my life?
Joan King, Silver Spring