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Letter: Palliative Care Is Best Option

To the Editor:

The Valley News is to be congratulated for publishing the Vermont Senate testimony of Dr. Ira Byock headlined “Doctors Should Not Become Agents Of Death” in the Feb. 17 Sunday Valley News. It is one of the best articles I’ve read on physician-assisted suicide. Having been at the death bed of three of my family members, I can say from experience that good palliative care is the best answer to avoiding end-of-life suffering. Indeed, no one needs physician-assisted suicide to avoid suffering at the end of life; all that is needed is good palliative care. Thanks to Byock for pointing that out in his very excellent article.

Marilyn White

White River Junction


Testimony: Doctors Should Not Become Agents of Death

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Following is testimony prepared by Dr. Ira Byock for a hearing on end of life choices held by the Vermont Senate’s Committee on Health and Welfare in Montpelier on Jan. 31. I am Dr. Ira Byock. I am a practicing palliative care physician and direct the palliative care program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. I am a professor in …