SHREWSBURY, Mass. — The Shrewsbury Daily Voice accepts letters to the editor. Signed letters may be emailed to email@example.com. Letters concerning the Nov. 6 election will be accepted until Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. The final day letters will be published is Nov. 3.
I am a nurse practitioner with a law degree. I am writing to urge voters to vote ‘no’ on Ballot Question 2. Question 2 is the assisted suicide bill. The Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Medical Association, numerous hospice and disability rights organizations and many doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals oppose the assisted suicide bill. Assisted suicide is not progressive. The most vulnerable members of our society, particularly the elderly and the disabled, will be at risk for abuses of this law. Health insurance companies are already trying to get away with paying for as little as possible; can you imagine what they will do if assisted suicide is an option?
Supporting life and providing comfort to the dying is the role of physicians and nurses; it is also a distinguishing characteristic of the most civilized societies. The medical community has made great strides in the care of the dying. Pain management, palliative care and hospice are all specialty fields that have come into their own in recent years. Providers within these fields offer compassion and dignity to the ill and dying, especially when cure is no longer the goal. Physical pain at the end of life can definitely be managed. Psychic pain is a different matter all together, but is no reason to jump on the suicide bandwagon.
We are in Massachusetts, home of the best healthcare in the world. We must not succumb to the mentality that tells us that suicide is our best option. Please vote ‘no’ on Question 2.
Lisa Powers, RN, MSN, JD