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Letters: Sometimes, death is welcome

November 24, 2013

Re "U.S. attitudes on end of life show a change," Nov. 22

I assure you that those who want to prolong life even when death is inevitable are uninformed.

My wife died at the age of 75. She was a beautiful and active person who hiked, exercised and volunteered regularly before she found out she had inoperable melanoma. Two oncologists told us that treatment would be very painful and unlikely to succeed. We decided to place her in hospice care, where she died four months after her diagnosis.

As my wife declined, she lost all of her physical capabilities at a maddeningly slow pace. Toward the end, she begged to die and asked me to take her to Oregon or Washington. I told her that it was OK for her to leave us, to give up her fight.

I suggest the next time a survey is conducted on this subject, the pollsters include a copy of this letter about the most vibrant person I have ever known through 54 years of a great marriage.

Arthur Friedman

Newport Beach

Having had cancer and now having multiple sclerosis, I speak for many who know we don't want to live a life with no quality. To be trapped in a body that doesn't work is hell.

I want the right to die the way I see fit. I want to tell my doctor when it is time to let me go.

Able-bodied people have no idea of the terror of being kept alive when you know your future will be spent in a body that doesn't work at all.

I know better than any doctor where my line is drawn. It should be my choice.

Lisa Hammermeister

Granada Hills


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