Medical aid in dying law is essential in Florida

February 2, 2023., Letter to the Editor.  Author Kate Parker.

To the Editor:

The recent tragic event at the Daytona Beach Advent Health hospital where a wife killed her terminally ill husband per his request, is an example of the drastic measures a person will take when they feel that there are no other options. Individuals in this difficult situation want to choose an end-of-life choice in accordance with their own values and beliefs. Hospice, palliative care and voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED) are legal options.
I’m writing on behalf of my mother, who suffered terribly the last few weeks of her life, everyday asking to just let her die. It was agonizing to watch someone suffer so terribly, even with the best pain-relieving medications available to her. Hospice care works great for those it works great for, but not for everyone. No one should have to beg for death.
Medical aid in dying (MAiD) is legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., but not Florida, which has the second-highest number of aging citizens. The nonprofit Florida Death with Dignity has proposed MAiD legislation for mentally competent adults with a terminal illness who have less than 6 months to live, to request a prescription for medication which they self-ingest without assistance, to end their life in a peaceful manner. I wonder if this couple would have resorted to using a gun if MAiD was already legal in Florida?
I ask those that support the right to live your life on your own terms and those that support the right to make your own health-care decisions to also support the rights of an individual with a terminal illness to make their own choice.

Kate Parker
Village of Osceola Hills

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