Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Right to die, animal suffering, housing, Uber, etc.

Brittany Maynard and husband Dan Diaz pose at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Maynard, who was terminally ill, died by assisted suicide in November in Oregon.
Brittany Maynard and husband Dan Diaz pose at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Maynard, who was terminally ill, died by assisted suicide in November in Oregon. TheBrittanyFund.org

Religion has a role

Re "Debate on right to die clouded by emotion and pain” (Marcos Breton, Jan. 25): I read Marcos Breton's column with great interest. His comment about putting aside faith-based opposition effectively eliminated hundreds of thousands of people from the debate. No discussion is valid without the voices of all people.

Please, let's hear all sides of this issue. After all, isn't that the heart of journalism?

Suzy Wahlborg, Sacramento

Right to die is complex

While I don't always agree with Marcos Breton, I respect him for his passion, for his willingness to take on complicated issues and for his ability to get to the heart of the matter.

Allowing the terminally ill the right to decide their fate sounds compassionate but deciding who lives and who dies and under what circumstances is a very complex issue. Such decisions should not be driven by emotions, whether compassion, religious views or other feelings. As a society, we need to think through the many complexities surrounding “right-to-die” before hastily enacting a new law.

Steve Forsberg, Roseville

Doctors aid dying people

I know from unfortunately sitting at the bedside of too many dying people that good doctors do provide compassionate, appropriate care and medication for end of life suffering.

The purpose of proposed legislation is to make their decisions and those of their patients legal. No one will be forced to decide either way.

Breton can make his choices and I can make mine, and no one will be breaking the law by choosing to end needless pain and suffering.

Anecdotal fear stories of disabled persons being forced to die rather receive care, or mentally incompetent persons making wrong decisions ignore the law's protections leaving physicians to make determinations.

We already trust doctors to do this; the law would simply make their determinations legal. I am sorry for Breton's suffering. I hope he will allow legal compassion for mine when the time comes.

Jo Vaughan, Sacramento

Horrors of Oregon’s law

The Bee editors are not taking into consideration that Oregon has among the highest suicide rates in the nation. Oregon doctors who object to their patients obtaining fatal prescriptions find themselves easily overridden by doctors who will. This is just one of the horrors of Oregon's "assisted suicide" law why Christian and Catholic organizations object to California having Oregon's law.

Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

End animal suffering

Re “A subsidy for meat we can no longer stomach” (Editorial, Jan. 23): Much has been written about the inhumane breeding practices and cramped conditions at puppy mills.

But the magnitude of abuse inflicted upon animals raised for food largely has gone unexposed. I thank The Sacramento Bee for giving readers a peek inside the taxpayer-funded U.S. Meat Research Center, where bizarre and egregious cruelties are the norm. It sickens me that my tax dollars pay for this place.

Raising and killing animals always has been an ugly business, but modern agriculture coupled with corporate desire to squeeze every penny of profit have lead to almost unimaginable suffering.

I hope that heightened awareness of the often concealed and inexcusable brutality will lead more people to adopt compassionate, healthy plant-based diets.

Stewart David, Venice, Fla.

A flaw in housing law

Re “Housing case is about law’s credibility” (Another View, Jan. 23): I agree with Wencong Fa and Ralph Kasarda that disparate impacts without discriminatory intent should not be illegal, but I would go even further. Deliberate discrimination should be legal as well.

I abhor bigotry, but I do believe in freedom. The law should not force people to associate with others they prefer not to, even if their preferences are wrongheaded. The reasons for legalizing discrimination are basically the same as those supporting freedom of speech even when we find the speaker’s point of view offensive.

The fact provided by Bill Lann Lee that two-thirds of Americans prefer to live in racially integrated neighborhoods is a great argument against the act. Those of us who want to honor the tradition of nonviolence should use persuasion and social pressure instead of the law to achieve the changes we would like to see.

James Robert Schultz, Sacramento

Don’t fix law that works

Re “DMV casts doubt on rideshare law” (Capitol & California, Jan. 24): It was with a growing sense of outrage that I read about Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla's criticism of the Department of Motor Vehicles advisory regarding Uber and Lyft drivers needing commercial vehicle registration.

When our elected officials are preparing to write new laws, they should use their time and staff to examine the relevant existing laws. To blame the DMV seems to show the lawmakers’ embarrassment over their shoddy work.

Will Bonilla and the members of the Republican caucus who lambasted the DMV also be surprised to find that the DMW also requires commercial driver’s licenses when you are paid to carry passengers?

It is expected that we will update our laws to reflect the evolving nature of our society, but please do not blame the DMV for highlighting laws that have been working to project our public for years.

Joseph Frasca, Sacramento

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