Pubdate: Sun, 16 May 1999
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Contact:  66 Jack London Sq., Oakland, CA 94607
Author: Gerald M. Sutliff


In his May 9 column, guest columnist Joseph Perkins raises the specter of
erroneous or involuntary application of euthanasia as inherent dangers in an
Assembly bill permitting euthanasia (sponsored by Berkeley Assemblywoman
Dion Aroner). Unfortunately, he neglected to address a necessary aspect of
the issue: pain management.

Our government's zeal for supervising physicians' use of pain medication has
an unfortunate side effect. Very often, it prevents the prescription of
adequate quantities of medication at the time of the dying patient's extreme

Who among us would not beg for death were we on the torture rack of pain
without hope of escape? Prescribing "acceptance" is thin soup to the patient
who wishes only for escape from unrelenting pain.

Gerald M. Sutliff Emerville, CA

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