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The Daily Hampshire Gazette: Mark Peterson: Urges ‘death with dignity’ bill to become law

An excerpt from The Daily Hampshire Gazette letter to the editor, “Mark Peterson: Urges ‘death with dignity’ bill to become law,” by Easthampton resident Mark Peterson, published June 10, 2020:


“Kudos to the Gazette for its May 29 editorial “Time for The End of Life Options Act,” and for its May 30 op-ed article called “Three elders support passage of death with dignity bill.”

The Legislature must have been listening, because the Joint Committee on Public Health, which is co-chaired by our own Sen. Jo Comerford, just passed the bill [(H.4782/S.2745)]. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor. I’m only a “kid” of 82 compared to those three other elders between the ages of 97 and 86, but I agree with them: it’s time Massachusetts joined nine other states (Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, and more) plus Washington, D.C., and legalize the option of medical, compassionate aid in dying for people who are terminally ill, mentally capable and facing great pain and suffering at the end of life.

A few years ago, I wrote a book called ‘Your Life, Your Death, Your Choice: How to Have Your Voice to the End of Your Life,’ which examined end-of-life health care and how to make good decisions. It addresses this issue in depth. I want this option for myself as well if I am terminally ill.

I urge you to contact Sen. Comerford and thank her for her leadership on this death with dignity bill. Then contact your other legislators, thank them for all they’re doing to provide medical and economic relief from this COVID-19 crisis, and urge them to also support passage of H.1926 by the full House and Senate this summer…”