Vermont recently became the fourth state to authorize doctor assisted suicide. Most disturbing is the number of commentators that favor such action. One view is that we treat our pets better than our “loved ones” in that we kill our pets rather than let them suffer. The reasoning follows that if we truly love our elders we should not let them die an agonizing death, but give them the option of ending their own lives by removing the burden of their care from society, by removing the burden of care left to “loved” ones.

Notwithstanding the practice of eugenics which eliminates undesirable, or non productive, or handicapped humans deemed a burden to society, a practice which became popular at the turn of the twentieth century practiced notably by the Germans in their drive for the perfect race, or by the Chinese in their killing of infant daughters, we in America practice eugenics through killing of unwanted infants for population control of the ghettoes as an example; or, the abortion of infants deemed “imperfect”, or inconvenient; or, with the approaching “death panels” at the terminus of life’s cycle by the ACA deciding who dies through dictate. In the end it is not we that decide who lives or dies in this utopian exercise. It is the “State” that determines life or death.

The reason that I write this letter is to argue that love and care conquers pain and loneliness. Feeling loved and feeling wanted gives reason to carry on even when the end is near. I am not referring to love of self which negates commitment to anything or anyone. Love of self results in lonely and painful death. The reward is great for the cared-for whose love felt overpowers pain and loneliness. The reward goes also to the caregivers who at a time in their lives discovered that love for others trumps love of self. A hundred-fold.

Close to half of us support doctor-assisted suicide. Such support is a chilling commentary of our society today.

Jude Richardson

Cogan Station

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom