Letter: It’s time to pass Passionate Care Act in R.I.

Posted 3/17/21

Rich and poor. Old and young. Brilliant and simple. Mighty and meek. All manner of people share the same ultimate fate. 

As a lifelong bedside Registered Nurse, I have seen the emotional and …

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Letter: It’s time to pass Passionate Care Act in R.I.

Posted

Rich and poor. Old and young. Brilliant and simple. Mighty and meek. All manner of people share the same ultimate fate. 

As a lifelong bedside Registered Nurse, I have seen the emotional and physical pain endured by terminally ill patients, as well as the anguish and helplessness experienced by families. Hospice and Palliative Care Services are valuable resources at end of life, but more can be done. 

Isn’t it time that gravely ill adults win the option to die with some measure of grace and control at the end of their lives? Death With Dignity National Center is committed to helping citizens gain access to an aid-in-dying law, so terminally ill adults can make meaningful, independent decisions about their dying — just as they have made every other important decision in their lives. 

The Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act H5572 was introduced in the Rhode Island Assembly on Feb, 12, 2021, by state representatives, including June Speakman and Susan Donovan. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Dedicated lawmakers in the state keep pushing to bring this law to fruition.

Modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, aid in dying legislation would allow qualified, terminally ill adult residents of Rhode Island to legally obtain a prescription from their physicians for medications to end their lives peacefully, in a dignified way, at the place and time of their choosing. Advocacy efforts in Rhode Island grow stronger every day.National polling in 2020 shows nearly 3 out of 4 people support aid in dying for terminally ill adults who qualify, across every demographic. In fact, 1 in 5 adults now live in a state with access to aid in dying. 

Here’s what you can do right now to help: Look up and read the Act for yourself. 

Email your elected officials to tell them you want their support for the Rhode Island Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act, H5572, and you want the bill to receive a public hearing this year.

Dying is every person’s eventuality. Laws should benefit and protect the citizenry.

Let’s insist that the Rhode Island Legislature comply with this expectation.

Jean Sharac
Bristol

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.