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Death with dignity

July 29, 2009

Re "Meaning of life," Opinion, July 26

I like the idea of "100 Things." Martin Welsh's article got me started on my own list of "100 Things." Happily, at age 79, I realize I am nowhere near any number to make me think of death.

Barbara A. Hall

Pasadena

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With the greatest respect and appreciation for Welsh's situation and beautiful words, several years ago I decided -- on hearing that paramedics had tried for 30 minutes to resuscitate my 82-year-old mother after she dropped to the floor while making dinner -- that at the appropriate time I would have "DNR" tattooed on my upper lip.

I hope Welsh is able to prolong his pleasures in life as long as possible, and that he has the gift of a peaceful transition.

Gail Jensen Sanford

Visalia

Congratulations to Welsh for spelling out in precise detail the urgent case for death with dignity.

I am reminded of the time when a gastroenterologist wanted to insert a feeding tube in my 93-year-old mother, maintaining she was still a human being.

Of course she was still human and still my mother, but the list of "100 Things" that Welsh speaks of so heroically had already diminished to zero after five years of vascular dementia.

Fortunately, I followed the advice of family members and respected my mother's prior wishes by not inserting the tube. She passed away very peacefully four months later.

Judith Terzi

Pasadena

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