Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Assisted Suicide? “I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses”

This was a letter I recently found in the Hawaii Free Press concerning one persons experience with assisted suicide in Oregon.
Dear Editor,

Hello from Oregon.

When my husband was seriously ill several years ago, I collapsed in a half-exhausted heap in a chair once I got him into the doctor's office, relieved that we were going to get badly needed help (or so I thought).

To my surprise and horror, during the exam I overheard the doctor giving my husband a sales pitch for assisted suicide. 'Think of what it will spare your wife, we need to think of her' he said, as a clincher.

Now, if the doctor had wanted to say 'I don't see any way I can help you, knowing what I know, and having the skills I have' that would have been one thing. If he'd wanted to opine that certain treatments weren't worth it as far as he could see, that would be one thing. But he was tempting my husband to commit suicide. And that is something different.

I was indignant that the doctor was not only trying to decide what was best for David, but also what was supposedly best for me (without even consulting me, no less).

We got a different doctor, and David lived another five years or so. But after that nightmare in the first doctor's office, and encounters with a 'death with dignity' inclined nurse, I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses, for fear they'd morph from care providers to enemies, with no one around to stop them.

It's not a good thing, wondering who you can trust in a hospital or clinic. I hope you are spared this in Hawaii.

Kathryn Judson, Oregon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That really doesn't surprise me my son has a lot of health issues and qualifies for PCS workers. Several years ago a lady told me that when her dad was diagnosed with cancer they were referred to hospice. She said when hospice arrived her dad was driving, within two weeks he was confined to a bed. During this time the pharmacist called and told this ladies mom that the amount of pain medication hospice was given her dad was not safe.