Readers share thoughts

on doctor-assisted death

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Medical aid in dying is presently legal with significant protections for both the patient and physician in nine jurisdictions in the U.S. for the terminally ill (defined as less than six months to live). This does not include many mentioned in correspondent James Anderson’s letter of June 10. It does allow the terminally ill individual to die with dignity and relief when his or her death might otherwise be slow, unrelentingly painful, and with loss of control of many functions. Who wants to be put in a coma for their last days?

The terminally ill need to have a compassionate legal option to die on their own terms.

J. Latané Ware.

Richmond.***

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I found physician James Anderson’s arguments against physician-assisted suicide to be arrogant, patronizing and devoid of respect for patients and families seeking to end a patient’s life when that life has become infested by acute and nontreatable pain and where there is no hope of survival or a quality life. He seems to believe that doctors alone should decide when such patients die.

He writes that doctors should help their patients die a “dignified death of natural causes” so as not to get the doctor involved in the act of “killing.” So it’s all about preventing the poor doctor from having unpleasant feelings because he or she helped a patient leave an unbearable world? I find this sad and uncaring. And just how “dignified” is a death fraught with pain, bewilderment, incoherence and indignities, especially when it takes months or years? Does not an individual’s life, in itself, have sovereignty and independent dignity?

Anderson’s belief that physician-assisted suicide “endangers the weak and vulnerable … corrupts the doctor patient relationship … compromises family commitments” and “betrays human dignity and equality before the law” only makes sense if you buy into the antiquated notion that doctors are godlike and should always have the last say in medical decision-making.

I don’t wish to be uncharitable. We are in a transition period where a doctor’s help in providing “death with dignity” is a relatively new idea and the ethics thereof are still being debated in the medical community.

I, however, do not want to be maintained in a painful and hopeless state at the end of my life just because the American Medical Association has not incorporated physician-assisted dying within its manual of best practices.

John Schuiteman.

Ashland.

Spanberger’s support

of immigrants earns kudos

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As a Dreamer in U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s district, I am so thankful for her support of the Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House of Representatives in early June. This bill would allow more than 4,000 people who have been living and working in our communities for decades the opportunity to earn a pathway to citizenship. Votes matter, and Rep. Spanberger’s actions are a testament to her support of all the people in our community.

As we all celebrate immigrant heritage throughout the month of June, I am proud to be represented by a member of Congress who stood up for immigrants and immigrant communities at this historic vote.

Yanet Amado.

Glen Allen.

Pursuit of Trump

is not good for the country

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The Democratic Party has lost any semblance of what is good for the republic is good for the American citizen. It is unfathomable that this party pursued a legally elected president for collusion and continues to actively pursue anything or everything from family to taxes to medical records. Accusing President Trump of obstruction for simply defending himself is absurd — the president had and has the ability and authority to fire anyone he wants to at any time.

Like the man or not, he is duly elected with extensive personal wealth and the authority of the president of the United States. The Democratic Party, one of the most powerful organizations in the world, does absolutely nothing except pursue impeachment and now imprisonment with no proof of a crime. Lavrentiy Beria, who was Joseph Stalin’s chief of the Soviet security and secret police organization known as the NKVD, said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” He would be so very proud of these people.

Imagine for a moment what these powerful people can and might do to the average citizen if they decide you, me, we do not agree with their ideology. The Democratic Party’s rallying call should be “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”

Mike Carroll.

Richmond.

Democrats’ fairy tale

vs. GOP’s reality show

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Robert J. Samuelson’s recent column, “The Democrats’ fairy-tale campaigns,” implies that we are already spending too much on social issues, that the Democrats’ plans are just too expensive. But in 2016, the deficit was $585 billion. This year, it will be more than $1 trillion. Apparently conservatives found money to spend on something. And it surely was not on social entitlements. I am not really sure what I got other than a tax increase on small business.

I would much rather live in the Democrats’ fairy tale than the Republicans’ fiscally irresponsible reality.

Michael Muscarella.

Henrico.

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