Letter: Needless end-of-life suffering can be avoided -- here

Letter to the Editor graphic

We are supporters of the Minnesota End of Life Options Act because we believe that all of us deserve a peaceful end of life experience surrounded by those we love, in a place that brings comfort. Without access to medical aid in dying, terminally ill people across the state are needlessly suffering in their final days. Some will leave their homes in order to seek the care they should be able to obtain right here in Minnesota.

Several years ago, a friend of mine faced a painful and terminal illness and, without medical aid in dying available, she and her family traveled to a European country for care. She died at a time that she chose and she was at peace.

Many other terminally ill people consider leaving Minnesota for one of the other 11 jurisdictions that now authorize medical aid in dying. Moving out of or across the country means leaving much of your support system, as well as your established medical team, which is an especially daunting and painful process to go through in the final months of life. No one should have to make that choice in order to be free of additional suffering in their last moments.

We urge our legislators to hold a hearing for this bill. Let the experts in this care as well as patients and citizens be heard. Our hope is that those facing pain and a less than peaceful end will find the help locally for which they plead so passionately.

Michael J. and Joy Fogarty, Rochester

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