Letters to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Aftermath of election shows some feel they are above law

It is now apparent that the present members of the administration that is in power at this time feel that they are above the law of the land. I always thought that to run for president one had to be a U.S. citizen and in being so would have to abide by the laws of this great land.

It is apparent that this is not the case in this presidential election and has not been the case in this administration. When defeated in this election, the loser has declined to step aside and observe the law of the land and is creating a despicable picture of himself to most of the people of this land.

If this is to continue I have some doubts that another election in four years would be necessary if this person is allowed to pull off a political coup like many of the South American dictators have done. If Mr. Gore is allowed to do this, will we call him "president" or "dictator"? Because without a doubt he will negate any future election that might remove him by a vote against him.

Then, how safe are the many heads that reside in Washington, D.C., going to be?

I served in the Navy in World War II and was proud to do so. At this time, I find that I am ashamed for our country.

A. Harry Wyka


When it comes to dying with dignity, laws defy logic

A recent news item told of a study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found that three out of four doctors think it is OK to participate in executions of criminals. More than half the states permit or even require them to participate.

At the same time, 49 states -- all but Oregon -- forbid physicians to assist dying patients to end their suffering in a painless and dignified manner, even in accordance with a legal, controlled protocol. In Alaska, assisting a person in hastening his or her own death is a felony punishable by five years in prison.

The contradictions between these positions is bizarre. To know that physicians -- presumably educated, intelligent, humane and compassionate -- would support this contradiction is truly mind-boggling. To help kill healthy criminals who do not want to die and not to help dying, suffering people who are sane, competent and rational and who want to die -- is this good medicine, good law or good sense?

Frederick J. Hillman, MD (retired)


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