The gravely ill deserve to have the choice to die with dignity

As a home care nurse I have cared for adult patients who are terminally ill and receiving hospice or palliative care; some who know they will suffer at the end of their life despite all the best efforts of their care team. On occasion, I have had patients ask me if I can suggest a way they may avoid this unendurable pain as they face their death. It is during these times I have come to understand the need for aid in dying legislation in our state.

Connecticut's ban on aid in dying assistance for competent, terminally ill adults who wish to avoid unendurable suffering at their end of life interferes with their right to personal choice and autonomy. Aid in dying does not prevent provision of the best hospice or palliative care. Instead, by integrating respect for the a person's right to choose and compassionate care, it makes death with dignity a real option.

I am writing today for all the competent terminally ill adults who want to make a choice about their death. Someday you, or someone you love, may be one of them.

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