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Offering Wrong Help to the Dying

People like Irene Shannon (“Her Life’s Crusade: To Help People Die With Dignity,” Dec. 18) are misinformed in a subtle and dangerous way.

Her final solution for the elderly who live alone and suffer from physical disabilities is to give them a copy of “Final Exit” and help them commit suicide. This can never be accepted as a compassionate response in a civilized society. These people need friendship, not a suicide manual.

In regards to all people diagnosed with a terminal illness, the answer is not assisted suicide but hospice [care]. A hospice uses the skills of specially trained physicians, nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors to provide palliative care and special pain control to the dying. A hospice is not a “special support group” but is open to any and all terminal patients. It is the humane, compassionate way to treat the dying.

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JOE BELTRAN

El Toro


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