Letters in the Editor's Mailbag

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

Right-to-die is gaining ground

The Oregon Legislature has taken a backhoe to crush a hen's egg in the case of the helium hood kits for sale. Dozens of Oregonians have already stocked up with their kits. What the legislators, the FBI and the media don't understand is that in this age of stressful modern medicine, longer living and degenerative diseases, a lot of people plan in advance to speed up their end if need be.

They may not in the end choose to kill themselves. But they want insurance against a protracted, painful, expensive death that is putting awful strains on the family. When they have a stash of lethal drugs or a helium hood kit it is a great consolation for far more people than is realized.

Evidence of that trend in advance health thinking is that the right-to-die groups in America and around the world were never stronger in leadership, membership or finances. Step by step the movement is getting physician-assisted suicide laws in place - 10 places so far. Other nations and states, most notably the United Kingdom and Australia, are close to reforming their laws on euthanasia.

That a few mentally troubled people sometimes use drugs or the kits to end their agony is a fact of human life. Yet must the 2 1/2 million Americans who die annually be deprived of possibly choosing a peaceful death because of the 31,000 who annually commit suicide?

Derek Humphry

Junction City

Public deserves to vote on EmX

I completely agree with the first two sentences of the June 5 editorial, "It's not a 'throughway'" that states, "We're not judges. We're not even lawyers." The editors are correct. They are neither. Yet they go on to hold court and render a poorly justified decision regarding the "EmX, let's vote on it" lawsuit.

I applaud the businesses that have taken it upon themselves to use the courts to try to allow the citizens of Eugene to vote on the west Eugene EmX project. It is regrettable that The Register-Guard editorialized against the lawsuit, and also regrettable that semantics, more than substance, will play a major part in the court's decision. The public deserves the right to vote.

The controversy surrounding the proposed project has rightfully provoked much thought. There are countless opinions, facts and falsehoods. Many glorious projections are being tossed around to try to sway public opinion. Remember, Lane Transit District spent $80,000 with a public relations firm to try to influence public sentiment during the route-selection process, including letters to the editor. The Federal Transit Administration is requesting more data on the project's impact on businesses.

LTD has financial problems and its Business Outreach Program, now in development, is nothing more than the compiling of information, a list of available resources administered by others that LTD will share with affected businesses. The agency's concept is to "leverage existing programs" already in effect.

LTD and The Register-Guard should get on the right track. EmX is the wrong bus.

Robert Rubin


Incarceration is not the answer

The Lane County Public Safety Coordinating Council's makeup must reflect a majority vested interest in incarceration, not rehabilitation, considering its recent 11-5 vote for funding cuts. Sponsors will lose 52 percent of its funding for released inmates, over half a million dollars. As a result, three of four serious sex offenders who are released will no longer have full supervision, treatment or enough caseworkers. And state funds for drug and alcohol abuse treatment for indigents at Emergence will be cut in half.

Whatever interests the council heeded, they surely weren't Lane County voters'. The recommendation flies in the face of repeated county voter rejection of local tax proposals that were skewed toward greater lock-ups without sufficient rehabilitation and education components. …