Marie Frank: Urges approval of ‘End of Life Options Act’

  • mactrunk

Published: 11/6/2017 8:31:48 PM
Urges approval of ‘End of Life Options Act’

While giving serious thought to the “End of Life Options Act” (H. 1194) that the Massachusetts Legislature is currently considering, I am frequently revisited by the image of my cousin Francine in her struggle with terminal ovarian cancer.

It was clear that she was at peace with death itself, but she agonized over the debilitating symptoms that could not be controlled with medication, and the seemingly endless process of dying.

I thought of her, and others I have known with similar stories, when I read this quotation from the Death with Dignity National Center: “Death with dignity means dying whole. It’s passing away as the person you were, not dying without the abilities and functions that make you human.”

This is one reason why I am fully in support of the passage of Massachusetts H. 1194. Oregon has demonstrated 20 years of success with its bill, and it’s interesting to note that many other state legislatures have introduced similar bills in 2017 that have some promise of passage. It is time to open our selves to new possibilities.

I am pleased as a Northampton resident that on Oct. 19 the City Council passed a resolution calling on the state Legislature to pass this bill, making our state the seventh in the nation to allow its citizens to have choices regarding their own end of life. Thanks to Councilors Bill Dwight, Marianne LaBarge and Dennis Bidwell for sponsoring it.

Amherst Town Meeting will consider a similar resolution this month.

I have been impressed by the excellent coverage by the Daily Hampshire Gazette of the local “death with dignity” dialogue, including the front-page Oct. 17 story (“Retired doc advocates for end-of-life options”) about Dr. Roger Kligler, a retired doctor with a terminal illness who is a strong advocate for medical and compassionate aid in dying.

Marie Frank

Northampton




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