To the arrogant, self-aggrandized citizens who believe they are anointed to dictate the manner in which I am allowed to end my life -- What unmitigated gall.

I challenge you to drop in at a nursing home, unannounced, about lunch time. Spend 20 minutes. Then decide if you deserve to spend your last days there. You have no right under any humane government to condemn me to that, nor to pass the burden of guilt and suffering to those who would be sentenced to watch it.

My mother, whose life was spent loving her family, was so condemned. She existed in physical agony, retreated (I hope) to a world that numbed her pain. The people around her were spoon-fed, wore bibs and diapers, and bathed by teenagers. She was humiliated to the depth of her soul. Her last cognizant words to me were, “Bill, why me?”

She believed she was being punished by God for sins unknown to her. Is this your religious doctrine? Under the First Amendment, I am free to define my own God. I chose one that espouses a peaceful, painless, humane, dignified closure to a life well-lived. Excepting those who prove to be evil, I believe every human on this planet deserves the right to make a similar decision.

This issue is so fundamental to humanity, I cannot imagine intelligent, caring people supporting the opposite view. I can only attribute that behavior to greed by organized medical or nursing home investors. Iowans are known for their friendly and neighborly demeanor. We can lead by defining a political statement granting us the rights to which we were born.

Bill Wohlford