- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 17, 2001

Suzanne Fields writes her Op-Ed column, “A license to kill?” in response to a federal judge's stay of Attorney General John Ashcroft's order, which would have rendered Oregon's Death With Dignity law moot, pending further adjudication.

Mrs. Fields says, “There are two issues here.” Wrong. She omits the principal issue that is likely the reason Oregonians twice voted for the Death With Dignity law. The issue is control.

There are worse things than dying. Those who write about assisted suicide should visit the terminally ill at different stages of their illness. They will see sick people gradually losing the power to make decisions over their own lives until, finally, all they control lies within the four walls of a (hospital) room.

Assisted suicide laws protect physicians from liability, but they also give the ill a sense of choice and control over their death. That's really all they have left. This sense of control is the meaning of “death with dignity.”


DOLORES DEMBUS BITTLEMAN

Washington


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