To the editor:

Thanks for your Oct. 4 story, “Emotional pleas heard for physician-assisted suicide.”

I was one of many who testified in writing at the public hearing by the Legislature’s Public Health Committee. In fact, I am one of the 70% of the Massachusetts public — according to a 2020 poll by the Boston Globe — who supports legalizing the option of medical, compassionate aid in dying. It would help people who are terminally ill, mentally capable and facing severe pain and suffering that even the best efforts of hospice can’t relieve. My wife died with great difficulty of bone cancer in 2018 and she fit into all the aforementioned categories. She and I wished this option was legal and available then. There was no need for her to suffer as she did for three weeks prior to her passing. She loved life, but her last three weeks were not life, they were agony.

Your wel-respected columnist, Barbara Anderson, who also died of cancer in 2016, called for passage of this law in one of her last columns. I urge your readers to contact their legislators and urge them to call on the Public Health Committee to pass the End of Life Options Act (H.2381) as soon as possible. Co-sponsors of this bill include state representatives Lori Ehrlich (Marblehead), Sally Kerans (Danvers) and Donald Wong (Saugus), plus state Sen. Joan Lovely (Salem/Peabody/Beverly).

One last thing. I strongly object to this law being called “assisted suicide”. My wife was not suicidal. She desperately wanted to live.

Stanley Handman


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