Kimberly Lambert: Pass ‘Death with Dignity’

Published: 1/10/2021 1:19:41 PM
Modified: 1/10/2021 1:19:22 PM

So we have chosen our next president and I am relieved, yet our Massachusetts legislators have another very important political decision to make now.

Will we decide to allow our loved ones and ourselves to die without pain and suffering? Will we continue to allow the terminally ill to endure what can be an agonizing death, or will we celebrate and protect quality of life until the end of life?

The Massachusetts Public Health Committee approved the End of Life Options Act (H.4782 and S.2745) in May. Now this important bill is before the Legislature for passage. A Boston Globe poll found that 70% of Massachusetts citizens want a “Death with Dignity” bill passed. Nine states plus Washington, D.C. have passed such bills, including Maine and Vermont.

This bill offers the terminally ill the option to bring a peaceful end to their life. The person would legally obtain a prescription from a physician for medication to be self-administered at the time the terminally ill person chooses. End of Life Options Act has many important checks and balances, including review and approval from a physician and a mental health professional along with a long list of qualifiers, verifications and forms.

After seeing the bravery of my dear Mum, who had Parkinson’s disease for 20 years, I want this bill to pass. Parkinson’s has no cure now. In her last weeks, she experienced the torment of her illness, much from the side effects of “state-of-the-art” medications that had stopped working. Feeling afraid, early on she had told her family and doctor that she wanted a choice. As many people have, in states where it is legal, she may have chosen ... not to choose.

Knowing that she had a choice would have given her so much needed peace. She needed death without agony and pain, to die in comfort and dignity is what she wanted and deserved. She needed the End of Life Options Act. Please contact your legislators today and request passage of the End of Life Options Act for terminally ill citizens of Massachusetts.

Kimberly Lambert

Northampton




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