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Telegram & Gazette: Opinion/Letter: Massachusetts must provide end-of-life care options

An excerpt from the Telegram & Gazette opinion column, “Massachusetts must provide end-of-life care options,” by Compassion & Choices Massachusetts Campaign Manager Brian Monteiro, published October 7, 2020:


“Contrary to Dr. Rhee’s claims, a Journal of Medical ethics report about Oregon’s medical aid-in-dying law (the model for Massachusetts End of Life Options Act) concluded:

‘Rates of assisted dying in Oregon … showed no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured … people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations.’

That explains why a Massachusetts Medical Society survey showed 62 percent of Massachusetts physicians support the End of Life Options Act.

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the profound tragedy of loved ones dying alone without the care and comfort of loved ones surrounding them. This pandemic also has magnified the fragility of life and the systemic racial disparities in our healthcare system. We must eradicate these disparities, so everyone has equal access to the full range of end-of-life care options.

One small, but important step toward achieving this goal is to authorize medical aid in dying as an end-of-life care option for every terminally ill, mentally capable adult in Massachusetts, so everyone is empowered to make end-of-life care decisions based on their unique culture, beliefs, and spiritual values…”