As state legislators across America grapple with proposed laws on euthanasia, South Dakota State Rep. Steve Hickey (R-Sioux Falls) – facing a terminal illness himself – has no qualms sharing exactly where he stands on the issue.

Yesterday, Rep. Hickey sent a letter in reply to a constituent’s question on “death with dignity” and felt strongly enough to tweet it to his followers (full text transcribed below):

In the letter, Rep. Hickey shares from his experiences as a police chaplain and minister as well as how he may have “only 3-5 years” to live after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. “The world of death and dying is world that I spend quite a bit of time in,” he comments. “Death is strictly the domain of God,” he writes with conviction. “We need to quit figuring out reasons to justify killing people: abortion, death penalty, euthanasia.”

This year alone, 24 states and Washington, DC are actively considering new laws to provide “death with dignity” – legalizing the practice of a person taking deadly drugs to end their life prematurely, also known as euthanasia. South Dakota has yet to introduce such a bill.

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