Letters: Death with Dignity; Tabasco Sauce Debbie Elliott reads letters from two listeners in Oregon. One chides NPR for its description of a state law that permits doctors to end the lives of certain patients. Another wants to know how the McIlhenny Tabasco sauce family fared in the hurricanes.

Letters: Death with Dignity; Tabasco Sauce

Letters: Death with Dignity; Tabasco Sauce

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Debbie Elliott reads letters from two listeners in Oregon. One chides NPR for its description of a state law that permits doctors to end the lives of certain patients. Another wants to know how the McIlhenny Tabasco sauce family fared in the hurricanes.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

We take a moment to now read from your comments.

(Soundbite of music)

ELLIOTT: Tom Head(ph) of Oregon took us to task for a story we recently aired about the challenge to Oregon's Death with Dignity law, currently before the Supreme Court. `You misnamed the law as assisted suicide,' writes Mr. Head. `Good in-depth coverage would explore the difference between suicide, as it is commonly understood, and the death-with-dignity provisions of Oregon's law. `One cannot choose to die; that is, commit suicide. It has to be medically established that a person is on the edge of death. The only choice is how that transition from life to death will take place. Oregon is trying to give people some dignity and control in this process. NPR's failure to name the law accurately is poor coverage and is an error that keeps the general public from understanding this law better.'

Another Oregon listener e-mailed about an entirely different subject. Herlinda Leonne(ph) writes: `I'm anxious to know if my favorite Tabasco sauce company, McIlhenny, survived Katrina and Rita.' That piqued our curiosity. With just a little digging, Ms. Leonne, we were able to determine that the McIlhenny factory, located 135 miles west of New Orleans on Avery Island, is up and running, though the families of 35 employees have been displaced.

But, Ms. Leonne, we would be derelict in our journalistic duties if we did not point out that McIlhenny can't be your favorite Tabasco sauce because it is the only Tabasco sauce. Edmund McIlhenny trademarked the name when he concocted his hot pepper sauce and started selling it back in 1868. It was originally sold in cologne bottles with a sprinkler top to limit the flow. Apparently taste buds have adapted in the past 137 years; it's now available in gallon-sized jugs as well.

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