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Albany Times Union Letter: Let terminally ill decide their end to suffering

An excerpt from The Albany Times Union letter to the editor, “Let terminally ill decide their end to suffering,” by Delmar resident Mary Applegate, MD MPH, published June 13, 2020:


“I am a public health physician with colon cancer and multiple sclerosis, both well controlled. I have very personal reasons for wanting terminally ill patients, regardless of disability status, to have access to medical aid in dying to peacefully end unbearable suffering.

Contrary to Kristen Hanson’s claims in her letter “Assisted suicide laws a danger to disabled,” May 10, decades of experience in the U.S. regions where medical aid in dying is authorized show no evidence of abuse of vulnerable people, including those with disabilities. Those areas include Oregon (starting 1997), nine other states, and the District of Columbia…

That is why The Arc New York, the state’s largest organization representing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, endorsed medical aid in dying, concluding: “Personal autonomy, liberty, freedom, and dignity of each individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities must be respected and supported…”