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Euthanasia Debate

July 24, 1987

If I am ever diagnosed as terminally ill, my wish will be to travel to the Netherlands. There, I will give myself a wonderful gift: the right to die, to end my suffering and the pain my family will have had.

In January, after 5 1/2 months of suffering a crippling stroke, my mother died. She had been sick for 77 of her 79 years with a useless arm and hip dysplacia. She was able to raise a family and work.

Through her work, she gave a large portion of her earnings and a small portion of her physical and mental self to the government of this country. The stroke left her without speech, unable to walk or use her functioning arm. She died after suffering total humiliation and becoming useless to herself. It was the only time I heard her beg to die and saw her cry. I feel the government, like her doctor of 17 years who never saw her after the stroke occurred, deserted her.

During this time, my parakeet was dying, and the veterinarian performed euthanasia. Maybe our physicians should be forced to study veterinary medicine. My bird didn't suffer; my mother did. It just isn't fair.

LINDA S. SIRLIN

North Hollywood

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