LETTER- Rich just fears old age

"As a nation, we would do well to move on and join the growing number of realists who recognize the difference between people who are truly alive and those merely capable of enduring an incurable, twilight form of existence" writes Barbara Rich in her July 13 essay, "Terminal? More than breath required for life."

When I read that, I became quite emotional over her reasoning on end-of-life matters.

Rich appears to assume that the "permanent residents living in tastefully furnished rooms" who get around "via walkers or wheelchairs" are nothing more than "unaware and uncomprehending" shells.

After reading Rich's article, I realized that she was transferring her fears of growing old into every line she wrote.

I believe that anyone who reaches the age of 90 is proof of the power of the will to live. Instead of wishing society would accept the killing of the old and the disabled as an act of compassion and not "murder," Rich might have soothed her fears by taking the time to show some of that "compassion" to those she seems to so easily label as "a shell."

There are many human beings living in nursing homes. Some are old. Some are young. All depend on others for something. But regardless of their individual physical and mental state, they did not cease to exist and become humans unworthy of respect.

I believe that Rich should rethink the issue of legalizing the killing of innocent human beings in the name of "compassion."

Janice Sanford
Starke, Florida