Letters for Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mahalo, North Shore Lions

Last Sunday we opened our small Chocolat Hanalei shop after almost three weeks of post-flood issues. Our farm and kitchen are in Wainiha. ‘Nuf said.

The North Shore Lions held a “Hanalei is Open” event to bring all island people back to the retail shop on the North Shore. We were fortunate to enjoy many new customers all day long, as were other merchants in Hanalei.

Again, our heartfelt thanks to all the Lions members involved.

Jack Mitchell, Princeville/Wainiha

Assisted death offers compassionate solution

In response to Terri Donovan Mansfield (TGI Forum, May 13):

First, I’d like to extend my deepest condolences to Ms. Mansfield on the loss by suicide of two nephews. That is, as she states, a horrific thing to happen. I am so sorry.

I agree with Ms. Mansfield that “for humanity to evolve, we must relinquish violence which is rampant in our culture. Murder of others and murder of self are forms of violence.”

But I’d like to try to explain how assisted death is a very different situation—and one that many people consider much more compassionate and less violent—from the alternative: not having that option.

Murder by definition is something that is unlawful and is often carried out with premeditated malice or with callous disregard for the consequences of one’s behavior. Assisted death is the opposite. It is done out of compassion for someone who is suffering and who has chosen to end his/her suffering. In fact, one might argue that forcing someone to continue living with pain, or even with gross indignity, against his/her will may actually constitute premeditated malice, or at least callous disregard.

I also agree with Ms. Mansfield that we should “creatively and compassionately think of ways to support people on the planet,” as well as “reach out proactively to one another as members of a global humanity.” Those of us who believe that, act on that daily. One of the ways we do so is by trying to end people’s suffering. So we donate to cancer research, ALS research, and a host of other types of research in order to speed up scientific ways to end suffering. But until we can stop that suffering, is it wrong to feel comfort in the knowledge that assisted death is an option if things become unbearable?

No matter how much we depend on our ohana, or how much aloha our ohana has for us, they may not be able to do anything to stop our suffering — other than, perhaps, not judge us should we decide to opt for our own euthanasia — which literally translates to “good/easy death.”

You certainly are entitled to your feelings and your opinion in this matter, but I ask you not to impose it on others. The purpose of this bill is to give sufferers a choice. It does not impose anything on them. (If it did, I would not support it either.)

Again, I’m very sorry for your loss, Ms. Mansfield, and for anyone else who has lost a loved one by suicide. But this is a very different situation. How does forcing anyone to continue suffering support our global humanity?

Vera Benedek, Kilauea

  1. Sue May 15, 2018 9:15 am Reply

    What a wonderfully compassionate letter. I really like the way you stated your views, but did not chide Terri for her ideas. Thank you for taking the time to write.

  2. Bradley Williams May 15, 2018 11:16 am Reply

    Safeguards are like links in a chain to an anchor. If one fails the rest are rendered useless and you are set adrift. The euthanasia monopoly promotes legalization by touting that the poison must be self-administered and then omit an ordinary witness to the event. Likely 17% change their mind and struggle.
    Yes you may like the concept of assisted suicide/euthanasia until you learn that the administration of the non-transparent laws in HI, OR, WA, CA and CO brightly provide immunity for predators (corporations, strangers, caregivers, heirs, guardians…) to complete the killing all before the family knows. The safeguards are hollow and unenforceable. A simple reading of the laws confirms this to be true. I am not for that. Are you?? For more investigative reports mtaas org. Resisting saves lives everyday.
    PS:Thomas Middleton was killed for his assets via the Oregon policy. What else did they not tell us?

  3. harryoyama2 May 16, 2018 3:55 pm Reply

    Hey, when you do not have a will, the State through probate will seize your assets. No difference than legalized robbery. Why should it be self-administered, how about the “patient” just rent some aircraft and crash it in the mountains? Much quicker and painless, besides, what a view anyways, take along your greedy spouse and any family member with the idea he/she will profit from your passing, since vows “death do us part”!

    1. Just Saying May 17, 2018 2:30 pm Reply

      Harry, there’s a rough neighborhood in Northern New Jersey you could fit into seamlessly!

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