Dear Editor,

Regarding the opinion piece in the August 17th issue entitled: “What Will Americans do without Grandma and Grandpa?” I take exception to several unsubstantiated claims in this article. Some are laughable, some are just plain ludicrous, some are false, and most are irresponsible in content.

The misinformation about hospice concerns me the most. You or a family member may be in need of hospice care some day. This assertion that “we will be given end of life counseling, pain pills, and the plug will be pulled earlier after enrolling in hospice at the first sign of major illness” is completely and patently a falsehood and is irresponsible in its presentation as one of Electa Ruth’s “facts.”

To clarify: the term “hospice” is defined as “a place of rest for travelers.” As a volunteer for St. John’s Hospice I am outraged that someone would be so cavalier about a team of professionals and volunteers that work together to handle the complex needs of a terminally ill patient and their family. This work is truly a calling and is done with love and compassion. To use such an organization as a political tool is truly a calling and is done with love and compassion. To use such an organization as a political tool is irresponsible and uninformed. The mission of Hospice is to add life to your days, not as Electra Ruth phrases it: “Why am I doomed to be deleted with a red or blue pill after end of life counseling?”

By the way, Hospice care is not initiated until a Doctor diagnoses the patient as having six months or less to live and the patient has agreed to discontinue all aggressive forms of treatment i.e. chemo, radiation. I respect your right to express your opinions. Unfortunately there are many citizens that will not bother to educate themselves, but will quote your opinions as unbiased facts.

In the future I think the Columbus Advocate owes to it readers to inform them that articles, such as Electra Ruth’s should be correctly identified as opinion/editorial pieces, so they are not mistaken as presentation of facts.

Margie Stricklin

Galena