Re: “Greg Kesich: If we let people die when it’s time, health care would cost a lot less” (July 12):

Thank you so much for this fine, straightforward piece of writing. It really is time for calm, rational discussion of this issue nationwide.

I believe that after age 75 or so, each of us should have access to medications under our own control to allow us to leave life when we’re ready to go.

The great majority of older people are not making choices while mentally unfit. Actually, the fear of a prolonged, agonizing, hideously expensive death is giving more elderly people depression than anything else. If we all knew we could leave if we deem it appropriate, the biggest stressor would be over.

The suffering underway now, as you describe, is intolerable. We need a new group of caregivers, similar to hospice, located outside the hospital setting.

Let the doctors work for cures at the hospitals. Let a new kind of caregiver be merciful and supportive of a peaceful exit.

Walden S. Morton

Cape Elizabeth