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Letter to the Editor of the Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, 21 August 2017:

Death With Dignity law falls short

I read with interest about the new organization in Oregon dealing with death with dignity (guest viewpoint, Aug. 16).

The Oregon Death With Dignity law is good, but can be more compassionate. It could be expanded to be more inclusive of people who are suffering needlessly. There are many people lying in bed with miserable qualities of life who wish there was a third option to terminate their suffering.

I recently started a drive to get a petition going to change the Oregon law. I recently was in contact with Derek Humphry, author of “Final Exit.” He was also an original driver behind our first law. He originally wanted it expanded to begin with, but had to compromise.

I’ve been in contact with the national Death With Dignity groups and they didn’t want to talk to me. Humphry explained that Oregon’s law is the model for the rest of the nation. Proponents are afraid that if we try to change it, that’ll proved it’s a flawed law and will hurt their efforts.

My reply is yes, we have a good law, but it needs to be more compassionate. Oregon is a compassionate state; that’s already proven. Why stick the other states with the original restrictive law? Help us fix our law and be a better example.

—Bruce Yelle, Florence, Oregon

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