The Feb. 23 Maine Voices op-ed by Nan March (“Discussion should begin on right to make one’s own end-of-life decision“) made many important points.

I am glad to know that death-with-dignity legislation is being drafted in the Maine Legislature. And I also encourage readers to contact their legislators in supporting this important recognition of our fundamental rights.

In her column, Ms. March listed a number of organizations and websites offering information on making one’s own end-of-life decision (or not).

I would like to commend one additional resource to your readers. It is the Final Exit Network.

As the group states, these are its guiding principles:

“We hold that mentally competent adults who suffer from a fatal or irreversible physical illness, from intractable physical pain, or from a constellation of chronic, progressive physical disabilities have a basic human right to choose to end their lives when they judge the quality of their life to be unacceptable. This right by its nature implies that the ending of one’s life is one’s choice, including the timing and persons present, and should be free of any restrictions by the law, clergy, medical profession, and even friends and relatives no matter how well-intentioned. We do not encourage anyone to end their life, are opposed to anyone’s encouraging another to end his life, do not provide the means to do so, and do not assist in a person’s death.”

For more information on the Final Exit Network, please visit

Len Freeman