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Speak up about assisted suicide legislation

To the editor:

A recent mailer from our Assembly member begins:

“Our kids’ education is going to help them for the rest of their lives.”

While this is certainly true, it begs the question of how long is “the rest of their lives”? How many will take their own lives? In Franklin County last year, the rate was 17.4 suicides per 100,000, more than double the state rate. And the state’s suicide rate has increased over 20% so far this century, with rural rates significantly higher than urban.

All agree this is a tragic situation. I’m sure the new budget also includes funds to reduce suicides. So doesn’t it undercut the validity of our arguments for kids to not commit suicide while at the same time passing a law that says some lives are not worth saving? Our legislature is considering a bill that would have the state sanction some deaths by directing physicians to write a script for a lethal dose of drugs. It would also have physicians lie on the death certificate and criminalize those doctors unwilling to euthanize the sick.

Kids are smart. They will see through the doublespeak that “medical aid in dying” is anything other than state-sponsored suicide. If we want our children to live their lives to the fullest and not fall victim to the belief that they are better off dead, then we should help every life to be fully lived.

Suicide by any name should be left up to the individual (it is already legal), not become a sanitized, state-approved “medical procedure.”

If you agree, I urge you to speak up — now — before your Assembly member votes for this awful law because he has not heard from those of us who believe that every life has value and the decision to end one’s life should be solely that of the individual.

Sincerely,

Wayne Miller

North Bangor

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