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'Amen' to letter

Dear editor:

In response to pastor/teacher Mark Goad's letter published Feb. 27: Brother Goad, I could not have expressed my feelings on my beliefs in the way you did, but I give you a strong back row sitting "Amen!" I've never met you but hope someday I'm offered that privilege. What you said was so much what "I Believe." Thank you, sir, for your letter.

David E. Jackson

Bismarck

Say 'no' to HB 1536

Dear editor:

The Arkansas that we know and love, as a place celebrating family values, cherishing and celebrating life, is again challenged by an issue with the potential for profound negative health impacts on the individuals and families of Arkansas, both now and for generations to come. At its core is this question: Do we think it rational, reasonable and ethical to expect our doctors both to heal ... and to kill?

Proposed H.B. 1536, the so-called "Compassionate Care End-of-Life Option Act," in a thinly veiled semantic attempt to distance itself from the language of "physician-assisted suicide" (PAS) in order to increase public palatability, is but another immoral and dangerous foray down the "slippery slope" of turning healers into executioners. By specifically asking physicians to violate the Hippocratic oath central to their creed and life's work, and asking them to set aside their personal ethic and healing role to decide who should die and when, it corrupts the covenantal nature of the patient-doctor relationship at its very core and is harmful not only for physicians, patients and families, but moreover, for society at large.

Allowing PAS would be a grave mistake for a number of reasons, including endangering the most weak and vulnerable of our citizenry, corrupting the ethical practice of medicine and its unique patient-doctor relationship, compromising the integrity of the family with its inherent intergenerational commitments and also by betraying basic human dignity and equality before the law. Should PAS become legal here in Arkansas, the rule of law, no longer erring on the side of life at the beginning and at the end of our lives, when we are most vulnerable, becomes no longer a protector, but potentially a grave menace.

By specific example, in the Netherlands, where PAS and euthanasia have been legalized for decades, the vulnerable of society are not adequately protected against coercion, and the safeguards against such have proved woefully inadequate. A recent expose has documented that up to 25 percent of Dutch mortalities are now due to active euthanasia, with doctors reporting in thousands of cases lethal injections being administered without a patient request, usually with no reporting to authorities. One can only imagine the perverse incentives PAS would also create for the insurance industry; assisting in suicide would often be a more "cost-effective" measure from the perspective of the bottom line, with some going so far as to recently suggest those with certain degenerative health conditions have a "duty to die." Is this really the Pandora's box we want opened upon our unsuspecting citizens?

Let us join with the American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Physicians (ACP), World Health Organization (WHO) and dozens of other medical and professional associations in condemning and rejecting PAS here in our fair state, by saying no to H.B. 1536, "The Compassionate Care End-of-Life Option Act." The lives of many here in Arkansas will surely depend upon it!

B.D. Fine Jr.

MD, FACP, FASN

Arkansas Physicians

Resource Council

To-do lists

Dear editor:

Grocery lists, project lists, health goals lists, daily stuff to-do lists.

I thought everyone did it. Most people don't want the stress. Forgetting to get stuff done can be stressful. Or so that is what I tell myself. It's true, I am a list writer. The thought of living by lists freaks out some people. Oh, the joy of scratching out lines on my "to-do list!"

One day I was searching for a list. The dog would not look me in the eye. I did have doggy grooming details listed. Trimming his nails is a Kung-Fu match. The list never showed up. My mother said to give myself a break and to just focus on staying alive. Good advice, but before I knew it I started a new list, "number one -- find list!"

Paula Woodman

Hot Springs

Editorial on 03/09/2019

Print Headline: Saturday's Letters to the Editor

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