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Euthanasia

December 02, 1990

Your article on euthanasia (Part A, Nov. 20) should have been labeled as an unpaid ad for the Hemlock Society, an organization dedicated to the killing of the terminally ill. The founder of the group, Derek Humphry, may be, as you say, a genial fellow, but he killed his wife, and now people are asking him for the coffee recipe that did her in. Does that make some sick people out there feel a bit nervous?

The objective of the Hemlock Society is to make it legal for physicians to kill the people they cannot cure. Fortunately, the voters of California saw this objective as the perversion it is. Calling murder an act of love and turning doctors into killers is about as perverse as you can get.

The Hemlock Society takes its name from the poison that Plato drank, not because he was terminally ill, but because he was being executed for crimes against Athens. People who are sick do not need to be executed; they need to be loved, cared for and assured that they are not going to be murdered.

Dr. Ron Dobson was quite right when he said that diagnoses have been wrong, and it is better to err on the side of life.

MARY JORDAN

Santa Barbara

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