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Vermont's New Law

Last month, the Governor of Vermont signed a law that allows non-residents whose life expectancy is less than six months to choose to end their lives in Vermont with the aid of a willing Vermont physician.

Medical assistance in dying is controversial.  But watching my husband Peter suffer with no food or water for eight interminable days because he chose not to go on with his much-diminished quality of life has persuaded me that this option should be available for mentally competent individuals with no hope for recovery.

I am not trying to persuade others to agree with me about medical aid in dying.   What I would ask is that those who have a terminal illness and are supported by their families in their decision to die on their own terms be permitted to do so.

In Massachusetts where I live, a bill to allow this choice has never come out of committee and thus the legislature has not been able to vote on this issue.

Many residents support bringing this legislation to the floor of the Massachusetts State House this session.

I am one of them.


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Deborah Pepe

I agree completely. I have a plan. Just hope I have the intestinal fortitude to carry it out when the time comes.

Arthur Clarke

At 81 I quite agree with your sentiment. Shouldn’t accepting death be a central part of taking responsibility for one’s death, rather than relinquish it to some moral, religious belief?

Janet Gottlieb

Amy Bloom's "In Love" memoir -- she and her husband had to go to Europe to fulfill his wishes--is heartbreaking and persuasive.

Joanne Kahn

Thanks for this article…I completely agree with your viewpoint. We talk about freedom in the U.S. but we seem to be granting the wrong ones.

jenyce jiggetts

As a volunteer for our local Death with Dignity org., I obviously agree and am hopeful that all states will soon pass this kind of bill.

I am seeking information on what kind of pills are used for dying (suicide?) for me if I should get to a medical/mental point where I cannot do for myself.

And you are right, to each his/her own. But we should have that right whether we choose to use it or not.

Richard McNally

Perfectly expressed, Judy. I could not agree more.


Thank you for sharing. I’m with you Judy. I live in California where it is legal.

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