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Sue Rodriguez lost her pioneering campaign for the right to die in a legal challenge that was defeated at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993. (CP)
Sue Rodriguez lost her pioneering campaign for the right to die in a legal challenge that was defeated at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993. (CP)

April 27: Talking point – the right to die; and other letters to the editor Add to ...

This debate is not about the right to die, but about the right to be killed. Let’s call things by their names in order to have a proper discussion.

Maria J. Zatarain, Burnaby, B.C.

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I am young (55) and I lead a full, vibrant and joyful life. I have been honoured to sit with many loved ones during their final months, weeks, hours of life, in hospice, at home, or in hospital.

I have cared for loved ones throughout long, painful declines and death. I have sat with others as death came quickly.

Sometimes the experience for the person is horrific, sometimes it is one of grace, love and peace. Every decline and death matters and calls for others to be present, with open hearts, loving and serving. Just like every birth matters. Birth and death: Each of us is called to, and edified by, giving these passages our utmost attention and respect.

I regularly tell my loved ones, and have it in writing, that there are circumstances in which I would wish to be “allowed” to die, rather than receive life-saving medical treatment. I have articulated circumstances in which I believe I would want the option of assisted suicide. I am prepared to travel to receive this assistance. I also have “other” plans, if that is too difficult.

I hope I can die with only a few weeks of illness and that I can have time to say goodbye to loved ones, but few of us will go like that. Better to have contingency plans.

Collette Oddleifson, Edmonton

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As Canadian citizens, we expect our government to assist us in our time of need. Never more so than when we wish to die in our own home, surrounded by our loved ones.

Not in Switzerland. Or Oregon. Or the Netherlands. Change the law on assisted suicide in Canada.

Karin Taylor, Toronto

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I believe that anyone who wishes to end their life should be given the means to do so. As you grow older and your body continues to deteriorate, there comes a time when you no longer wish to continue living. You want to exit from this life while you still have your dignity. My mother lived way beyond her capabilities and, in the end, was in little more than a vegetative state. She would have given anything to avoid that kind of existence.

Ilene Pedlar, Victoria

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MORE LETTERS

Committing sociology

Re PM Steps Up Attack On Trudeau Over ‘Root Causes’ Of Terrorism (April 26): I don’t think Stephen Harper meant to say this is no time “to commit sociology.” I think he meant to say this is no time to “commit science.” That would explain his wish to shut down the Experimental Lakes Area. Not that I’m looking for the root causes for his behaviour …

Doug Paul, Toronto

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Let’s ask the RCMP if it is time to “commit sociology.” Doing a form of sociology – trying to understand the concerns and workings of communities – is what has allowed the RCMP to develop relationships with communities that have shared their worries about a terrorist threat (How Faith Forged Security – April 25).

Understanding the root causes of social issues is just common sense.

Pamela Klassen, Toronto

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Me-too pay

Barrick shareholders, like many others, might well ask where their boards were while executive compensation soared (Say On Pay For Shareholders – editorial, April 25). Rather than reining-in executives, board members often simply join them at the trough. In many companies, board members now earn a cool quarter million or more simply by attending a few meetings and sitting on a committee or two. As you point out, making board members more accountable to shareholders is the necessary first step in any reform.

Gary McCaig, Port Alberni, B.C.

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