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Options beyond assisted suicides

The article ``Assisted-Suicide Law in Oregon Stirs National Discontent,'' Dec. 12, neglected to explore the aftershocks that accompanied the passage of the Oregon ``Death With Dignity Act.''

Many Americans have been left with the impression that assisted suicide is the only answer to people's fears about what may happen to them when they are dying. Assisted suicide is only one option available.

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In the United States, every competent adult has the right to make his or her wishes known about end-of-life medical treatment. The best way to preserve this right is to complete an advance directive, such as a living will or medical power of attorney. These important forms are an expression of your wishes. You can opt to refuse all end-of-life medical care. Many state forms include the request for full treatment as one of the treatment options. In short, any living will can be modified to fit an individual's particular treatment preferences, and serve as a reflection of his or her values and spiritual beliefs. Deborah Kaufman, New York Director of public relations Choice in Dying

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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