Letter to the Editor discusses End of Life Options

Letter to the Editor discusses End of Life Options – Sun.sentinel.com 1/31/2023.

Regional Director, Catherine Wallace, discusses Medical Aid in Dying as an additional End of Life option.

End-of-life options

The recent shooting tragedy at a Daytona Beach hospital (in which a 76-year-old woman fatally shot her terminally ill 77-year-old husband) has sparked a firestorm of conversation around terminal illness and the despair and hopelessness some individuals feel at the end of their lives.

Our organization has advocated for the expansion of end-of-life options for terminally ill residents in Florida. What’s missing in our state is an end-of-life option called Medical Aid in Dying. In 11 U.S. jurisdictions, this is a legal medical standard of care for terminally ill individuals.

In 1997, Oregon was the first state to legalize and implement Medical Aid in Dying following a Supreme Court decision that upheld states’ rights to decide on legalization. Ten jurisdictions have since followed in part because of a growing older population and increased societal appreciation for autonomy, secularization and patient empowerment.

Terminally ill residents in Florida deserve to have all options available so they may make a very personal end-of-life decision that’s right for them. Contact your legislators and ask them to sponsor our recently submitted legislative draft called the Florida End of Life Options Act.

Catherine Wallace, Boca Raton

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