Dear Editor: It is solely up to me to make decisions regarding my medical decisions — no one else.

I do not say this lightly. I am a survivor of a suicide attempt as a result of clinical chronic depression, currently well-managed with medication and therapy. In fact, I often write about my ongoing recovery so that it might bring some hope to others. I also widely share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's number, 1-800-273-8255, which I have found helpful in the past.

A writer of a recent guest column decried assisted suicide because: she fears it would be misused against those with disabilities; she is concerned that, had it been legal in the past, she might have used it; and she doesn't believe it is right for her, since treatment in Mexico made her pain manageable.

We do need to put in place safeguards to ensure that assisted suicide is truly the choice of the person affected, no one else. I understand that the letter writer is in a different place now than when she might have used it. But that doesn't justify her making decisions for others. She had the option of getting treatment in Mexico, which worked for her.

Not all of us have those options, yet she has the hubris to decide what's best for us. Not!

Joan Downs


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