LETTERS: Against assisted suicide; expand health coverage

LETTERS: Against assisted suicide; expand health coverage



Against assisted suicide

Editor:

The Connecticut House of Representatives is considering a bill entitled “An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients,” HB 6425. Plainly stated, it means state-sponsored assisted suicide. My experience of living with my wife Judith as she journeyed with cancer proved to me that the dying process can actually be a source of strength and hope for the patient and her/his loved ones which should not be cut short by unnatural means.

As a volunteer bereavement counselor since Judith’s death six years ago, I have not heard one person say they wished their loved one would have had the opportunity to terminate his/her life. 

There are no good reasons to justify assisted suicide. Advances in palliative care and medicines have alleviated the suffering attributed to end-of-life illnesses. Bereavement services for families are increasingly available.

Wanting to die because of depression is now treatable. As a result, living to a natural death allows a person to prepare for a peaceful end of life, and gives loved ones the opportunity to prepare for life without the presence of their beloved.

Besides unnaturally cutting a life short, in Oregon and Canada, where physician-assisted suicide is allowed, seriously ill patients receive a subliminal message that they should “do the right thing for the next generation.”

This message alters a patient’s natural preparation for death as well as her/his relationship with family and loved ones. 

In addition, this bill opens the door to the definition of terminally ill and it will give insurance companies an opportunity to reject expensive medical treatment in favor of an inexpensive “life ending medical alternative.”

Please contact your legislator and voice your opposition to HB 6425. 

Francis R. Barillaro, Meriden

Expand health coverage

Editor:

I am writing to you to bring awareness to a bill currently in the Connecticut General Assembly that would expand healthcare coverage to the residents of our state, SB 842. This bill would expand Medicaid coverage and create a public option health insurance.

As a type 1 diabetic, I understand on a personal level how important adequate and accessible health insurance is. The U.S. is in an insulin access crisis with the list price of the medication unaffordable for the average person to pay out of pocket. This makes health insurance and healthcare not a privilege but a necessity to live.

Many residents of Connecticut are in a similar position as I am. COVID-19 has emphasized this issue and has proven that healthcare should be a societal priority. 

I urge everyone to support a public option and the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Connecticut. Now is the time to act and make a change to secure our right to health and life.

Madeline DelGreco, Plainville

Town is ill served

Editor:

Consider a hypothetical situation: Your neighbor has worked 19 years as a mid-level employee of a $172 million business. When the pandemic hits, she’s expecting the company to adapt to reality and impose work from home options. But the CEO orders all employees to physically work in the office. Given she’s over 60, survived cancer and has a compromised immune system due in part to a lung disease, she requests an accommodation that most every other company is providing.

HR denies it, telling your neighbor to report to work or forfeit her pay, and she reports it to the State. Then the CEO of the company calls her into his office and tells her: No dice. And any changes to her hours will require his personal approval.

She files a lawsuit against the company, and the shareholders pay up.

Now consider that this hypothetical actually happened (Record-Journal March 26, 2021), but with some troubling role changes. Your neighbor works not for a callous corporation, but for the Town of Wallingford, and the intransigent CEO is the mayor. But here’s the kicker — the ill-served shareholders footing the bill are you, the taxpayers through direct payment, insurance, and insurance premium.

Wallingford is ill served by a mayor who doesn’t understand that part of his job is safeguarding the health of his own Town employees, and the health and financial well-being of all residents.

Ray Palermo, Wallingford


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