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Social Issues: Letters

From: Ross Olson [ross{at}]
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009
To: Editor Star Tribune (opinion{at}
Subject: Slippery Slope

When I graduated from Medical School in 1967, nothing could be done for a heart attack victim except
bed rest. There were not many long term cancer survivors. Extremely premature babies had little

The present cost of care is not due to waste but to our ability to do more. It is mathematically
impossible to do more for more people at less cost, so the only possible solution to the equation is

Those who claim that encouraging living wills cannot possibly have any unintended consequences do
not look at Holland, where tender-hearted elderly request assisted death "so I won't be a burden to
my family" and a significant proportion are euthanized by the doctor's decision alone without a
request from them or their family. Also, prior to Roe v Wade, many bioethicists claimed that even if
legalized, abortion would always be very limited by "physicians' traditional commitment to life."

Ross S. Olson MD

The Star Tribune published this letter without the last sentence.

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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