I appreciated Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson’s Oct. 7 column in the Quad-City Times, discussing the book, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. This book is very inspirational and thought provoking. Death often seems to be a taboo subject in our society. Whether a young person facing life cut short by sudden illness or those of us in old age, we need to think about what choices are available to us at the end of life.

Do we want to have every medicine and machine available to try to keep us going? Anyone who has strong feelings about what is wanted or not wanted needs to have these wishes expressed in a living will and a power of attorney for health care. These options should be discussed with the doctor and families to be sure that these choices are followed.

My personal choice is not to be put on feeding tubes or resuscitated. If I am suffering greatly and close to death, I would also like to have the choice of death with dignity as described in House File 65 introduced in the Iowa Legislature last year, this is similar to the Oregon Law.

Eloise Pfeiff

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