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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Assisted suicide

I-1000 simply another option

A practical hypothetical: Doctors tell you that you’ve got a horrible incurable disease that’ll kill you in a few months [“How we die,” page one, Sept. 21]. They describe the deterioration that will afflict your mind and body before you actually pass on. Putting it mildly, they don’t paint a pretty picture. It seems foolish and masochistic to put yourself through all that ugliness. Worse yet, you’ll be subjecting those you love to that same ugliness. You decide you don’t want to make that sort of departure.

So what do you do? If you’re lucky enough to reside in an enlightened state of our Union, you’ll be able to acquire a dose of something that will neatly ease you into whatever afterlife you believe exists. You can die with some dignity. You can die while you’re still recognizable to yourself and those you hold dear.

Why not turn Washington into an enlightened state? Vote yes on I-1000. Vote yes even if you don’t intend to make use of it. That would be your choice. Let those of us who hold differently have our choice.

The thing about I-1000 is that, when it passes, no one is forced to use it. It merely provides an option, and it’s always better to have options.

— Bob Wojtyna, Woodinville

Doctors approve

There is considerable confusion about what the majority of Washington medical doctors think of I-1000.

Opponents of I-1000 in the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), representing less than half of the physicians in the state, claim that most members are against I-1000, even though it was never put to a vote.

Proponents claim that the majority are for it.

A poll of WSMA members, run by an independent pollster who stands by its representative value, found 50 percent in favor and 42 percent against I-1000.

Some doctors have written letters to the editor to say that all of their M.D. friends are against it. Well, birds of a feather flock together. I am not a medical doctor, but I am acquainted with several of them, and they are all for I-1000.

It is true that I-1000 has been endorsed by the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Student Association, the Washington chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Washington State Public Health Association.

— Susan Perigo, Lake Forest Park

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