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Ted Kennedy's widow opposes assisted-suicide initiative in Massachusetts

October 29, 2012

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of longtime Senator Ted Kennedy, has taken a strong stand in opposition to “Proposition 2,” a statewide ballot initiative that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts.

The proposal “seems harsh and extreme to me,” wrote Victoria Kennedy in a column that appeared in the Cape Cod Times. “It's not, in my judgment, about death with dignity at all,” she wrote, adding the measure stood in stark opposition to her late husband’s commitment to providing adequate health care for all citizens.

Proposition 2 is unjust, Kennedy wrote, because it is “intended to exclude family members from the actual decision-making process to guard against patients' being pressured to end their lives prematurely.” She added that the bill also places undue weight on a doctor’s diagnosis that a patient has less than 6 months to live. Speaking from experience, the Senator’s widow notes that Ted Kennedy’s terminal cancer was discovered, he was told he had 4-5 months to live. “Because that first dire prediction of life expectancy was wrong, I have 15 months of cherished memories,” Victoria Kennedy said.


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