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Published:July 6th, 2008 15:57 EST
Is The Washington State "Death With Dignity" Initiative A Good Thing?

Is The Washington State "Death With Dignity" Initiative A Good Thing?

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Supporters of the doctor-initiated death have turned in an estimated 320,000 signatures Tuesday to the Secretary of State`s Office. The number of signatures is more than enough to send Initiative 1000 to voters in November.

If approved, Initiative 1000 would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medicines to patients with six months or less to live. Supporters say that Initiative 1000 would allow mentally competent, terminally ill adults to request and self-administer medication in order to die on their own terms. The initiative was filed by former Gov. Booth Gardner, a Parkinson`s disease patient in January."

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Opponents of the "Death with Dignity" state of Washington initiative argue that man shouldn`t play god by determining the time and manner of death. But the god these folks worship is indifferent to human pain and suffering; he allows terminally ill patients to linger for months suffering indescribable pain.

I may be a lowly sinner but I strongly believe that if a terminally ill patient wants an end to his suffering, then compassion dictates that we grant his request.

Critics of physician-assisted suicide accuse advocates of celebrating a culture of death. I love life and I treasure every minute of every day. I hold a full-time job and I spend almost all my free time doing what I love best: writing. If I ever get to the point where illness or an accident prevents me from writing, then I am no longer living and consider myself a willing candidate for physician-assisted suicide.

Some members of the disabled community are vehemently opposed to this initiative, they feel that it will generate discrimination against the disabled. Their fears are misguided, if this initiative becomes law the disabled won`t be rounded up and executed. This law is very limited in its scope, it applies only to the terminally ill who have a desire to end their suffering and who have 6 months or less to live.

Oregon already has a physician assisted law and it hasn`t lead to abuse of any kind, or to increased discrimination against the disabled.

I hope that in the near future we will have a physician assisted suicide law that applies to the whole country.