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Fall Fashion Issue | Letters

More on Matters of Life and Death

August 15, 2004

As a believer in the concept of death with dignity, I admire Howard L. Wildfang's courageous spirit and his "final resolution" to die on his own terms ("A Final Resolution," by Fred Dickey, July 18). Twenty-five years ago I watched my mother suffer a prolonged and painful death from cancer. Her doctor refused to prescribe any "habit-forming drugs" to ease her pain.

When my 9-year-old dog did not respond to chemotherapy for lymphoma last December, I chose to have him put down. One injection helped him relax for the first time in several days, and a second brought a swift end to his suffering. As I sat and stroked his lifeless body, I thought how much more humane his death was than my mother's.

As one of the 46% of Californians who voted for the assisted-death initiative, I would like to ask the 54% who voted otherwise to please let me die as I wish. I would gladly do the same for them.

Judy Gaviati

Thousand Oaks


Thank you for Dickey's article. What an honest, detailed, respectful account of a good man's life and his grit and integrity as he sought to control his own death and prevent himself from unduly burdening others. This is every bit as good as Mitch Albom's book "Tuesdays With Morrie." Dickey's work is the best old-fashioned journalism I've seen in a long time.

Cherie Rouse

Loma Linda

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