"If Dr. Stevens had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead."

http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_e05fa28b-dd72-5688-a321-654cc86fc213.html?print=true&cid=print

November 28, 2012

Thank you for publishing the letter by Dr. Ken Stevens describing how he talked his patient out of doing assisted suicide in Oregon (Missoulian, online only). I am that patient and he did save my life.

In 1997, I voted for the initiative that legalized assisted suicide in Oregon.

In 2000, I was diagnosed with cancer and told that I had six months to a year to live. I knew that our law had passed, but I didn’t know exactly how to go about doing it. I did not want to suffer, and I did not want to do radiation. I wanted Stevens to help me, but he didn’t really answer me.

Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately I decided to fight the cancer. I had both chemotherapy and radiation. I am so happy to be alive!

It is now 12 years later. If Stevens had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. I thank him and all my doctors for helping me choose “life with dignity.” Assisted suicide should not be legal.

Thank you so much.

Jeanette Hall,
King City, Oregon