Thank you for the article and editorial concerning the difficulty in making use here of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (“Death with dignity,” “Death with dignity harder in rural areas,” Nov. 17, The Daily Astorian).

Columbia Memorial Hospital is among the most important and commendable institutions in our community, but it is also in some respects among the most opaque about policy decisions. The hospital needs to make clear to those it serves the nature of its affiliation with the Lutheran Church. Does the church (local or national?) decide what services the hospital can or should provide, even when those services have been endorsed by a substantial majority of Oregon voters?

On a not unrelated matter, I hope the directors of the hospital will explain their apparent decision to continue to build within the tsunami inundation zone. One remembers that a significant number of patients in New Orleans hospitals were abandoned to die during the hurricane and flood there. And that the chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission has stated (The New Yorker, July 20) that when faced with a tsunami, “you don’t go back to save anybody. You run for your life.”

Robert Adams


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