Letters to the Editor

Death with dignity is not suicide

Regarding "Why can't California pass assisted suicide bill" (Aug. 23, Page B-7): One of the answers to Anita Creamer's column has to do with improperly transposing the Compassionate Choices or Dignity- in-Dying Act with the more eye-catching term, assisted suicide.

Suicide has to do with one's choosing between life and death where there is still an indeterminate stay of life; the terminally ill with intractable pain and less than six months to live are deprived of this choosing. Their choice is between a horribly agonizing death or a more merciful one. These unfortunate victims do not have the luxury of time the sanctimonious legions are wasting with their dogmatic, pulpit-driven religious screenings of legislation pertinent to alleviating human suffering in our secular society.

The act is a voluntary measure; if anyone's beliefs are opposed to the exercise thereof, then they could refrain, but they should not deny its benefits to others.

It is understood that 70 percent of Californians are in agreement with its passage, which only means a large constituency is not being properly represented in the Legislature.