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Friday, April 07, 2017

Hospice is the choice - physician assisted suicide brings toxic drugs to a compassionate choice

Appreciate The Times Record response to my Letter to the Editor- published today April 7, 2017

No Need for Physician Assisted Suicide when Hospice Available
After submitting testimony in opposition to the physician assisted suicide legislation proposed by Sen. Roger Katz, I heard compelling testimony from both sides of this emotional issue from people who care deeply about their personal and professional opinions regarding quality care, at the end-of-life.

Both sides of the physician assisted suicide debate acknowledged how hospice care is the compassionate choice for the dying, because the benefit provides for appropriate pain management, as well as extraordinary family support through the death and bereavement of the terminally ill patient. Ironically, in other State House legislative committee rooms, the terrible epidemic of opioid drug overdose deaths was discussed, while proponents of physician assisted suicide were advocating for dangerous compounded drugs in capsules to be available for the terminally ill, to ingest in the prescribed procedure. There is no need for physician assisted suicide, when access to hospice is made available, especially if end-of-life palliative care and hospice are compensated by health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans benefits. Thank you to Maine's hospice providers and volunteers, for providing compassionate and quality care to our families, neighbors and veterans at the end of their lives. Support for hospice is the preferred choice for end of life care, acknowledged by both sides of those who testified in Augusta on the physician assisted suicide proposals. There is no need for physician assisted suicide when hospice care is accessible to everyone who is facing the end of life.

Juliana L'Heureux, Topsham

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