N. Kitsap letter

Dignified death

Dear editor,

Thank you for the deeply moving article, “Deciding when to die,” covering the decision of a beautiful young woman who became terminally ill and used the Death with Dignity law.

However the opening statement referring to “assisted suicide” is incorrect. The law enables a qualified patient to end his/her life in a humane and dignified manner; this is not suicide. A number of national professional organizations, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, have made statements about the inappropriateness of using that word when describing the choice of a mentally competent, terminally ill adult to seek death with dignity, or assisted death.

Thank you for including specific information about the process involved in using the law, to further the understanding of your readers.

Midge Levy