Monday, September 2, 2013

Doctors should have the right to say NO to assisted suicide

Dear Editor:

Jeannette Hall
I was disturbed to read the editorial by Tom Preston arguing that hospitals and doctors should not have the right to say "No" to participating in Washington's death with dignity act (09/01/13).  If this had been the law in Oregon, and if my doctor had followed it, I would likely be dead.

Assisted-suicide has been legal here in Oregon since 1997. It was enacted by a ballot measure that I voted for. In 2000, I was diagnosed with cancer and told that I had 6 months to a year to live. I knew that our law had passed, but I was not sure how to go about doing it. I tried to ask my doctor, but he didn't really answer me. In hindsight, he was stalling me, trying to get me to change my mind.

I did not want to suffer. I wanted to do our law and I wanted my doctor to help me. Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately I decided to fight. I did chemotherapy and radiation. It is now thirteen years later. I am so happy to be alive!

Assisted-suicide should not be legal. Oregon and Washington have made a terrible mistake.

Jeanette Hall

King City, Oregon

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