Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Individual right to choose underlies Question 2

To the editor:

There is a basic human rights question on the ballot this November: Question 2, the Death with Dignity initiative. This one should have no reasonable opposition. There are some legitimate emotional arguments against it and also some hateful opposition; but a clear understanding of the law and its relation to individual freedom should dispel any negativism.

Modeled on a 1997 Oregon law that has proven foolproof, safe and compassionate, the Massachusetts law will allow an individual with terminal illness facing certain and imminent death some choices at the end of life — the when, where and how circumstances. When death is inevitable and the quality of life is reduced to the quality of pain one is suffering, faced with loss of control over bodily functions, some people may cherish that choice. Please consider this carefully. The important thing to remember about Question 2 in voting yes is the right of others (friends, family or strangers) to make a choice.

Although you may not wish to take that step personally, it is unconscionable to deny others of their right to choose.

Thomas A. Wilson

Shelburne Falls

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