Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Join a Dialogue: Legalizing Aid in Dying

@medicaring Janice Lynch Schuster and the New York Times both invite you to participate in "Invitation to a Dialogue: Legalizing Aid in Dying."  Here's the link.

Here's an excerpt of Janice's piece:

In this modern world, millions of us will live for two or three years with a condition that ultimately kills us; millions more will have our minds fail from dementia or stroke. In the course of such illnesses, people want to live as well as they can, despite increasing dependence on others for basic care, and the subsequent loss of dignity and independence. But we do not have services adequate to meet their needs, or their families’. Creating such a system requires much more than modest Medicare reforms; it requires fundamental changes in how medical treatment and supportive services collaborate.  

In general, where it is legal, physician-assisted dying is available only to people who are competent, who have physicians’ verification that they will die soon and who can wait for a period of time before receiving a lethal prescription. For those few, having a sense of control can ease fear and anxiety. 

But for those of us on our way to a less predictable end, urgent issues remain to be solved. The inadequate and disconnected services we have now will fail us. We need to find better ways to care for the dying and, ultimately, for ourselves.

The Times notes:  We invite readers to respond by Thursday for the Sunday Dialogue. We plan to publish responses and Ms. Lynch Schuster’s rejoinder in the Sunday Review. E-mail:

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