Reader Opinion: Determining what’s right
No single religious viewpoint should determine what’s spiritually right for others.
In response to the March 18 Guest Opinion “ Medical aid in dying bill is a slippery slope ,” as a faith leader, I have witnessed the existential suffering of many people in the last months, weeks and days of their lives. Like others called to this work, I have held the hands of people who “fought the good fight” against cancer, ALS and many other progressive, terminal diseases. It has solidified my belief that ultimate questions of life and death belong with the person who is dying, not with the government or any religious authority. That is why I am a supporter of the Minnesota End of Life Options Act.
This bill would allow mentally capable adults with six months or less to live, the opportunity to discuss the option of medical aid in dying with their provider. With the support of their medical team, loved ones and faith leader, they can then make the decision that is right for them. Medical aid in dying is a trusted medical practice that is authorized in 10 states and the District of Columbia (including Oregon since 1997) and there have been no proven reports of coercion or abuse. Minnesota polling shows that residents support medical aid in dying by a 3 to 1 margin.
I have found that the role of faith in someone’s life does not dictate how they approach the end of it, or the options available to them. Some of us lean more deeply into our faith, while others explore it in a new light. Many use their faith to guide them through decision-making, and some are most comforted by surrendering fully to a higher power. No one way is more “right” or “moral” than another. No single religious viewpoint should determine what’s spiritually right for others.
Rev. Harlan Limpert