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Dying with dignity a human right

In a letter to the editor, Stephen Glick writes: "The End of Life Options Act has 64 co-sponsors, including Berkshire County's Sen. Adam Hinds and Reps. John Barrett, Paul Mark and Smitty Pignatelli."

To the editor:

I was glad to attend the April 15 public forum in Great Barrington about Death With Dignity, also known as medical and compassionate aid in dying.

Larry Pellish, a retired longtime Pittsfield physician, spoke movingly about his mother’s difficult dying process with terminal cancer. She and he wished she had the option of a peaceful, painless death by medication, prescribed by her doctor and self-administered by her at a time of her choosing, when her suffering and quality of life became unbearable.

This is the way it’s helped many terminally ill people in the past 21 years in seven states plus Washington, D.C.—and New Jersey just became the eighth state to authorize this option. I was also glad to hear recently that Gov. Cuomo in neighboring New York said he’d support and sign their proposed aid in dying bill if the Legislature passed it.

In our state, there’s a bill in the Legislature’s Public Health Committee called the End of Life Options Act. It has 64 co-sponsors, including Berkshire County’s Sen. Adam Hinds and Reps. John Barrett, Paul Mark and Smitty Pignatelli.

If you live in Pittsfield, contact Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and urge her to become a co-sponsor; or if you know people there, ask them to contact her. And the same with people you know in other parts of the state where more legislative support would help, such as in Springfield, Worcester, Haverhill and Lowell.

Stephen Glick, Ph.D.
West Stockbridge

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