George Will, a Washington Post columnist, is a conservative. But that is not in conflict with his belief that terminally ill people should be able to end their lives using prescription medications. Will made his position clear in two recent pieces published in The Plain Dealer Jan. 23: “Medical aid in dying should not be forbidden by society’s laws” and “Medical aid in dying is for preventing a drawn-out death.”

Support for medical aid in dying, currently legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, is increasing nationwide. But it isn’t an option in Ohio, even though a 2018 Public Policy Polling survey found that Ohio voters strongly support giving terminally ill patients the right to control the end of their lives. The state legislature should listen to its constituents, 69% of whom supported a previous bill that would have allowed Ohioans to direct their own end-of-life care if the patient was capable, acting voluntarily, and making an informed decision.

Ohio End of Life Options, a Cleveland-based nonprofit, focuses on advocating for this. Will calls this debate “urgent.” We agree. That’s why we urge you to share your thoughts on this issue with your legislators.

Muffy Kaesberg,
Cleveland Heights

Muffy Kaesberg is board chairperson of Ohio End of Life Options. Find out more at: OhioOptions.org

Editor’s note: This letter was corrected Feb. 3 to remove an erroneous reference to Will’s religion. Will has described himself as an “amiable, low-voltage atheist.”

One Response

  1. It’s kind of annoying that someone, other than myself, may decide if I need to suffer more physically when my time is near. As if enough energy won’t be taken up with the psychological and spiritual trauma of ones own death. I don’t understand why it is anyone’s business but mine and my doctors. Much like abortion, people will find a way around it if the pain is intolerable. They might even fail at the attempt. Then we can arrest them for attempted suicide. It’s almost beyond belief to have to debate this.
    It says a lot about a state when it wants us to move to another state if we’re dying, and prefer to do it without needless suffering. Except of course the suffering of family who must be left behind while we establish residency and the emotional pain of being apart when they’re needed most. I guess even though they can’t speak we understand that our pets deserve more respect than we get when it comes to this subject.

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