Letters to the Editor

Boester letter: Doctor assisted suicide

Years ago I had a Doberman named Jake. Jake suffered from congenital heart disease. Medicines did not help. He collapsed after any exertion and was suffering. I took him to a veterinarian, who told me I should let him give my dog a shot, to end his life. Finally, I agreed, but I insisted I wanted to hold Jake and comfort him while the shot was administered. Two seconds after the shot had been given, Jake was no longer suffering.

Why is it legal for a veterinarian to end an animal’s suffering, while it is illegal for a regular doctor to give a patient, like me, who is almost 80 and suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson’s and Osteoarthritis — who really does not want to live any longer — a shot to help him out of his miserable, pain-filled life?

The answer is that religious zealots in government have made it illegal for a doctor to assist a patient with dying.

I am an atheist. I feel it is wrong that my choices of how to live or die are affected by religious lawmakers. We desperately need a constitutional amendment limiting the influence of religions (like Christianity) on lawmaking.

Robert Boester, Boise