Letter: Death With Dignity?

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It is indeed interesting and predictable that the editorial (“Death With Dignity?” in the Nov. 14 issue of the Glen Cove Record Pilot) uses an admittedly heartbreaking situation to justify the initiation of a statewide (and then obviously a nationwide) Death with Dignity Act.

The writer states that “extensive research would need to be conducted to verify the patient was indeed terminal, but opening the floor to incurable diseases that destroy the mind and body quickly and painfully would be somewhere to start.” Really? And just when and where did we become God?

The writer then goes on to compare pets to humans. How simplistic and void of any mention of who we are in the fabric of creation. Pets are just that; beautiful and wonderful companions who become part of families and are in the care of their owners who indeed “put them down” to alleviate their pain when there is nothing more to be done because they are in great pain or of age and can no longer even move. That decision brings great suffering to the families who own them.

Human beings, however, have been given a soul, intellect, the ability to reason, to research and to use all the gifts given to them by a creator, including free will to make choices, something animals do not have.

The choices humans are free to make can go in any direction…to look onto life as a magnificent gift to be used for the good of mankind, or to view it as disposable at their personal discretion (abortion, euthanasia). The latter choice, though appearing to avoid pain and suffering, is a grievous offense to our creator, an act of defiance and rejection of all that is good—with research to support that its ramifications cause serious pain and suffering to the families and loved ones involved or left behind.

Everyone ever created on this earth has known pain and suffering in their lifetime. Some have succumbed to suicide because they see no other way; they have lost all hope and our hearts should go out to them. As humans, we would all be in a better place if we took the time to discuss and learn the value of suffering (not self-inflicted) in our spiritual lives and the lives of those around us, instead of discussing easy exits from this world…but we seem to choose to want everything that makes us “feel good,” and life for humans is just not like that. Death can always be dignified, but it is never to be taken into one’s own hands because they get tired of “waiting for God.”

Marie Coyle

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