Showing posts with label Jeanette Hall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeanette Hall. Show all posts

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hearing Today: Tell the Connecticut Public Health Committee to Reject Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

Dore with Elaine Kolb

"Don't render yourselves, and the people you care about, sitting ducks to heirs and other predators."

By Margaret Dore, Esq.

To read Dore's analysis opposing Raised Bill No. 6425, with supporting documentation, click here and here.

1.    The Bill

The proposed bill, "An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill," seeks to legalize “aid in dying,” which is a euphemism for active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.[1] 
2. Who May Be Most at at Risk?
Individuals with money, meaning the middle class and above. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Do or Refer" Doctors Are Not Allowed to Use Their Best Judgment for Individual Patients (No More Jeanette Halls)

Jeanette Hall with her son Scott
shortly after she changed
her mind.
Margaret Dore Esq., MBA*

Yesterday, a doctor asked me about "do or refer" provisions in some of the newer bills seeking to legalize assisted suicide in the United States. For this reason, I now address the subject in the context of a 2018 Wisconsin bill, which did not pass.

The bill, AB 216, required the patient's attending physician to "fulfill the request for medication or refer," i.e. to write a lethal prescription for the purpose of killing the patient, or to make an effective referral to another physician, who would do it.

The bill also said that the attending physician's failure to comply would be "unprofessional conduct" such that the physician would be subject to discipline. The bill states:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead"

Jeanette Hall and her son, Scott, in November 2000
By Jeanette Hall

I live in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. Our law passed in 1997 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 didn’t know exactly how to go about doing it. I tried to ask my doctor, Kenneth Stevens MD, but he didn’t really answer me. In hindsight, he was stalling me.

Friday, February 9, 2018

"Prescribe or Refer" Is Anti-Patient: Doctors Are Not Allowed to Use Their Best Judgment for Individual Patients (No More Jeanette Halls)

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
By Margaret Dore Esq., MBA - updated 05/12/18

A Wisconsin bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide, requires the patient's attending physician to "prescribe or refer" i.e., to write a lethal prescription for the purpose of killing the patient, 
or to make an effective referral to another physician, who will do it.

The bill, AB 216, also says that the attending physician's failure to comply is "unprofessional conduct" such that the physician would be subject to discipline. The bill states:
[F]ailure of an attending physician to fulfill a request for medication [the lethal dose] constitutes unprofessional conduct if the attending physician refuses or fails to make a good faith attempt to transfer the requester's care and treatment to another physician who will act as attending physician under this chapter and fulfill the request for medication. (Emphasis added).*
A significance of prescribe or refer is that it's anti-patient, by not allowing doctors to use their best judgment for individual patients.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Washington State: Tell Your Legislators to Vote "Yes" on SB 5433

Jeanette Hall
SB 5433 is a simple bill clarifying that persons considering assisted suicide under Washington State's Death with Dignity Act have a right to be told of their options for cure or to extend life. Passing the bill will be consistent with how the Act was marketed to the voters, as providing choice for the individual. I urge you to tell your legislators and the governor to vote “Yes” on SB 5433.

For more information, read the memorandum to the Washington State Senate below. To see a print version, click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Utah: Testimony of Kenneth Stevens MD Opposing Assisted Suicide

To view testimony as a pdf, click here.

1.  I strongly urge you to Vote No on HB 264, which seeks to legalize physician assisted suicide in Utah

Photo of me and my patient Jeanette Hall, 15 years after
I talked her out of assisted suicide in Oregon
Photo credit - Daily Signal
I am a cancer doctor in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal. I was also raised in Logan, graduated from USU, and received my MD from the University of Utah Medical School 50 years ago. I am Professor Emeritus and former chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Oregon Health and Science University. I regularly visit Utah. I continue to practice in my cancer medical specialty.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Canada: Oregon Doctor Urges Rejection of Carter and Bill C-14

Dear Member of Canadian Parliament,

VOTE NO ON BILL C-14; INVOKE THE NOTWITHSTANDING CLAUSE TO OVERRIDE THE CARTER DECISION

"Don't follow Oregon's
 failed experiment"
For 49 years I have been a cancer doctor in Oregon where assisted suicide has been legal for a number of years. I have seen the tragedy and harm to patients, the medical profession and society from assisted suicide.

If enacted Bill C-14 will encourage people with years to live to have their lives terminated prematurely. My patient, Jeanette Hall, wanted assisted suicide from me in 2000. After helping her have hope in her cancer condition, she agreed to be treated and is now alive and very well 15 years later.  She says, "It's great to be alive!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"No" on Bill C-14 and Carter; No Assisted Suicide; No Euthanasia

Robert-Falcon Ouellette
Dear MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette:

I was happy to see the CBC article concerning your reluctance to endorse Bill C-14. You are right to be concerned.

I am a lawyer in Washington State USA where assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal. Bill C-14 and legalization generally will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives. Carter was wrong. Legalization does not promote the right to life.

Please consider the following reasons:

1.  The bill's title, "medical assistance in dying," implies that eligible people are dying. There is no requirement that people be dying. They are instead required to have a "grievous and irremediable medical condition." See Bill C-14
§ 241.2(2).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Assisted Suicide: How One Woman Chose to Die, Then Survived

http://dailysignal.com/2015/05/18/assisted-suicide-how-one-woman-chose-to-die-then-survived/

Kelsey Harkness /
In 1994, Jeanne Hall, a resident of King City, Ore., voted in favor of Ballot Measure 16, which for the first time in the United States, would allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives through physician-assisted suicide.

“I thought, hey, I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer,” Hall told The Daily Signal. “So I checked it. Then it became legal.”

That day at the ballot box, Hall never could have predicted that more than 15 years later, she would be diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer.

Doctors gave Hall, who was 55 at the time, two options: She could get radiation and chemotherapy and attempt to fight the cancer, or she could take a lethal dose of barbiturates to end her life.

“I was calling it over,” she said. “I wasn’t going to do chemo. When I heard what might take place in radiation "I wasn’t going to do it. I looked for the easy way out.”

Without treatment, Hall was given six months to a year to live, and therefore qualified for physician-assisted suicide through Oregon’s Death With Dignity law.

“She was terminal because she was refusing treatment,” Dr. Kenneth Stevens, one of Hall’s two cancer doctors, told The Daily Signal. “It’s like a person could be considered terminal if they’re not taking [their] insulin or [other] medications.”

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kenneth Stevens, MD, supporting SB 5919.

My name is Dr. Kenneth Stevens. I live in Sherwood, Oregon. I'm testifying in favor of Senate Bill 5919, which amends Washington's Death with Dignity Act.

I'm a cancer doctor in Oregon, where we've had the similar act since 1997. I'm also a professor emeritus at Oregon Health and Science University. I previously served as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. I have treated thousands of patients with cancer.

Jeanette Hall
I practice in both Washington state as well as Oregon. I've read the proposed bill, which amends Washington's act to make it clear that patients who request a lethal dose under the act have the right to be told of treatment options for cure and to extend life.

I strongly support this bill, especially due to my experience with a patient named Jeanette Hall. The Oregon and Washington acts apply to patients predicted to have less than six months to live.  This does not necessarily mean that the patients are dying. This is true for two reasons:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oregon's new assisted suicide report: chronic conditions; people with money and more

By Margaret Dore, Esq.
Updated February 19, 2014

Oregon's assisted suicide report for 2013 has been released to the public.[1]  Per the report, the number of deaths from ingesting a lethal dose is low when compared to overall deaths, just 71 out of 32,475 total.[2] The report is nonetheless significant for the following reasons.

Per the report, some people who died from a lethal dose under Oregon's assisted suicide act had chronic conditions such as diabetes.[3] People with these conditions, and other conditions such as cancer, can have years to live.[4]  Jeanette Hall, the woman in the photo, had cancer and was talked out of assisted suicide 13 years ago.[5]  Her doctor convinced her to be treated instead.[6] Legalization, regardless, encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives.

Per the report, most of the people who died from a lethal dose were white, aged 65 or older, and well-educated. See note [7].  People with these attributes are typically well off, i.e., the middle class and above.  The report's introduction implies that their deaths were voluntary, stating that Oregon's act "allows" residents to obtain a lethal dose for self-administration.  There is, however, nothing in the report stating that the specific deaths described in the report were self-administered and/or voluntary.[8] Older well-off people are, regardless, in a vulnerable demographic for abuse and exploitation.  This includes murder.  A 2009 MetLife Mature Market Institute Study states:
"Elders’ vulnerabilities and larger net worth make them a prime target for financial abuse . . . Victims may even be murdered by perpetrators who just want their funds and see them as an easy mark."[9]
Oregon's act was passed in 1997.[10]  Just three later, Oregon's suicide rate for other suicides was "increasing significantly."[11]  Last year, an article in Oregon's largest paper reported:
"New figures show a sharp rise in suicides among middle-aged Americans, and an even bigger increase in Oregon. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows suicides among men and women aged 35-64 increased 49 percent in Oregon from 1999-2010, compared to 28 percent nationally."[12] 
This "significant increase" is consistent with a suicide contagion in which legalizing one type of suicide encouraged other suicides.[13]

The new Oregon report also lists "concerns" as to why the people who died requested the lethal dose.[14]  The data for these concerns is originally generated by the prescribing doctor who uses a check-the-box form developed by suicide proponents.[15] One listed concern is "inadequate pain control or concern about it."[16]  There is, however, no claim that anyone who ingested the lethal dose was actually in pain.[17]

A copy of Oregon's new report can be viewed at this link: http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/year16-2013.pdf  For more information, please see the footnotes below.

Margaret Dore is an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.  She is President of Choice is an Illusion, a human rights organization opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia.  She is one of the attorneys of record in the Montana assisted suicide case, Montanans Against Assisted Suicide (MAAS) v. Montana Board of Medical Examiners.  The case has already resulted in the removal of an official policy statement implying that assisted suicide is legal in Montana.  For more information, please click here.  Funds are needed for an upcoming appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.  Please consider a generous donation to MAAS and/or Choice is an Illusion, by clicking here and/or here. Thank you.

[1]  Oregon's Death with Dignity Act-2013, available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/year16-2013.pdf
[2]  Id., Report, page 2, first paragraph and footnote 1.
[3]  Id., Report, page 6 (underlying illness, listing chronic conditions such as "chronic lower respiratory disease" and "other illnesses"). See also page 7, footnote 6 (listing "diabetes mellitus").
[4]  See e.g., Opinion letter of and Dr. Richard Wonderly and Attorney Theresa Schrempp (regarding a young adult with diabetes and other chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, "each of these patients could live for decades"), available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/schrempp_wonderly_opn_ltr1.pdf
[5]  See Affidavit of Ken Stevens MD, available at: http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/signed-stevens-aff-9-18-12-as-filed.pdf  See also, Affidavit of Jeanette Hall, available at:  http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/jeanette-hall-affidavit.pdf
[6]  Id.
[7]  Report at note 1, page 2, last full paragraph.
[8]  Id..As a further explanation, the report page 1 says that Oregon's Act (DWDA) "allows" terminally ill Oregonians to self-administer the lethal dose.  Nothing says that administration "must" be by self-administration.  Self-administration can also be non-voluntary, for example, if the patient was under a threat of harm to a pet, or incapacitated, say due to alcohol. The rest of the report, pages 2-7 talks about the patient's "ingestion" of the lethal dose, which could also be voluntary, non-voluntary or involuntary. For more information about the term "ingestion," see Margaret K. Dore, "'Death with Dignity': What Do We Advise Our Clients?," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin, May 2009, at https://www.kcba.org/newsevents/barbulletin/BView.aspx?Month=05&Year=2009&AID=article5.htm. See also Margaret Dore, "'Death with Dignity': A Recipe for Elder Abuse and Homicide (Albeit not by Name)," Marquette Elder's Advisor, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 2010, pp. 391-2, available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/dore-marquette-law-review-article.pdf
[9]  MetLife, "Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances," 2009, at https://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/broken-trust-elder-abuse.html#findings
[10]  Oregon's Death with Dignity Act Report at note 1, supra, page 2, paragraph 2.
[11]  News Release, "Rising suicide rate in Oregon reaches higher than national average," Christine Stone, Oregon Public Health Information Officer, Oregon Health Authority, September 9, 2010.
http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/rising-suicide-rate-in-oregon.pdf
[12]  David Stabler, "Why Oregon's suicide rate is among highest in the country, " The Oregonian, May 15, 2013, at http://blog.oregonlive.com/living_impact/print.html?entry=/2013/05/why_oregons_suicide_rate_is_am.html
[13]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_contagion
[14]  Report at note 1, page 6 (middle of page)
[15]  The check-the-box form is Question 15 of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act Attending Physician Follow-up Form, page 5, available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/attending-physician-follow-up-form.pdf
[16]  Report at note 1, page 6 (middle of page).
[17]  Id, entire report.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dr. Kenneth Stevens and Jeanette Hall in Quebec!


http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/physician-assisted-suicide-encourages-people-143000132.html

Physician-assisted suicide encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives: an Oregon cancer doctor and his patient tell their story and warn Quebecers
MONTREAL, Oct. 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice presented a doctor and his patient from Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. 
Dr. Kenneth Stevens is a practicing cancer doctor with more than 40 years' experience. He is also a Professor Emeritus and a former Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Oregon Health & Sciences University,Portland, Oregon. He has treated thousands of patients with cancer. 
Jeanette Hall, Dr. Stevens' patient, is thrilled to be alive 13 years after he talked her out of "doing" Oregon's law, i.e., killing herself with a lethal dose of barbiturates. 

In 2000, Jeanette was diagnosed with cancer by another doctor and told that she had six months to a year to live. This was without treatment. The other doctor had referred her to Dr. Stevens for radiation and chemotherapy. Jeanette, however, had voted for Oregon's law. She had made a firm decision to go forward with Oregon's law instead.

Dr. Stevens did not believe in assisted suicide. He also believed that Jeanette's prospects for treatment were good. He convinced her to be treated instead of doing Oregon's law.

Dr. Stevens talked about how the mere existence of legal assisted suicide steered Jeanette Hall to suicide. He also talked about how financial incentives in Oregon's government health plan also steer patients to suicide. Dr. Stevens warned that if assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalized in Quebec, then the Quebec government health program could follow a similar pattern, that is, to pay for people to die, but not to live.

Dr. Paul Saba, a family physician and co-president of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice explained how Quebec's proposed euthanasia law would encourage people, including young adults with treatable conditions, to agree to euthanasia and throw away their lives. The Coalition's position against euthanasia is supported by the World Medical Association representing nine million physicians.

For additional information and references including videos visit coalitionmd.org.

SOURCE Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Those who are not dying can be lured to assisted suicide

http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2012/11/02/those-who-are-not-dying-can-lured-assisted-suicide/mYhNV8k6hWseAFwSxdCnIL/story.html

I am a cancer doctor in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal. Oregon's assisted-suicide law applies to patients predicted to have less than six months to live. This does not necessarily mean that such patients are dying.

In 2000, I had a cancer patient named Jeanette Hall. Another doctor had given her a terminal diagnosis of six months to a year to live.  This was based on her not being treated for cancer. At our first meeting, she told me that she did not want to be treated, and that she wanted to opt for what our law allowed - to kill herself with a lethal dose of barbiturates.

I did not and do not believe in assisted suicide. I informed her that her cancer was treatable and that her prospects were good. But she wanted "the pills."  She had made up her mind, but she continued to see me. On the third or fourth visit, I asked her about her family and learned that she had a son. I asked her how he would feel if she went through with her plan. Shortly after that, she agreed to be treated, and her cancer was cured. 

Several years later she saw me in a restaurant and said, "Dr. Stevens, you saved my life."

For her, the mere presence of legal assisted suicide had steered her to suicide.

I urge the citizens of Massachusetts to vote no on Question 2.

Dr. Kenneth Stevens

Sherwood, Ore

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Oregon Health Plan Steers Patients to Suicide

Yesterday, the Canadian Department of Justice filed evidence in Leblanc v. Canada, including the affidavit of Oregon doctor Ken Stevens.  Therein, Dr. Stevens talks about his patient, Jeanette Hall.  He also describes how with legal assisted suicide, the Oregon Health Plan steers patients to suicide.  His affidavit concludes:

"The Oregon Health Plan is a government health plan administered by the State of Oregon. If assisted suicide is legalized in Canada, your government health plan could follow a similar pattern. If so, the plan will pay for a patient to die, but not to live."

Please find the full text of his affidavit below.  To view a hard copy of his affidavit with supporting documentation, click here 

Friday, August 31, 2012

New England Journal of Medicine Article Misleading

Dear Editor:

I am a lawyer in Washington State, one of two states where assisted-suicide is legal.  The other state is Oregon, which has a similar law.  Lisa Lehmann's article, "Redefining Physicians' Role in Assisted Dying," is misleading regarding how these laws work.

First, the Oregon and Washington laws are not limited to people in their "final months" of life.[1,2]  Consider for example, Jeanette Hall, who in 2000 was persuaded by her doctor to be treated rather than use Oregon's law.  She is alive today, twelve years later.[3]

Second, these laws are not "safe" for patients.[4][5]  For example, neither law requires a witness at the death.  Without disinterested witnesses, the opportunity is created for the patient's heir, or someone else who will benefit from the patient's death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent.  Even if he struggled, who would know?  

Third, the fact that persons using Oregon's law are "more financially secure" than the general population is consistent with elder financial abuse, not patient safety.  Do not be deceived. 

* * *

[1]  Margaret K. Dore, "Aid in Dying: Not Legal in Idaho; Not About Choice," The Advocate, official publication of the Idaho State Bar, Vol. 52, No. 9, pages 18-20, September 2010, available at http://www.margaretdore.com/pdf/Not_Legal_in_Idaho.pdf.
[2]  Kenneth Stevens, MD, Letter to the Editor, "Oregon mistake costs lives," The Advocate, official publication of the Idaho State Bar, Vol. 52, No. 9, pages 16-17, September 2010, available athttp://www.margaretdore.com/info/September_Letters.pdf 
[3]  Ms. Hall corresponded with me on July 13, 2012.
[4]  See article at note 1.  See also Margaret Dore, "Death with Dignity": A Recipe for Elder Abuse and Homicide (Albeit Not by Name)," at 11 Marquette Elder's Advisor 387 (Spring 2010), original and updated version available at http://www.choiceillusion.org/p/the-oregon-washington-assisted-suicide.html 
[5]  Blum, B. and Eth, S.  "Forensic Issues: Geriatric Psychiatry." InKaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Seventh Edition, B. Sadock and V. Sadock editors.  Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, pp. 3150-3158, 2000. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Boston Globe: She pushed for legal right to die, and - thankfully - was rebuffed


http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2011/10/04/she_pushed_for_legal_right_to_die_and___thankfully___was_rebuffed/

I DISAGREE with Scot Lehigh’s Sept. 23 column, which characterizes assisted suicide as only involving people who are going to die in “a few months or weeks’’ (“Death with dignity in Mass.,’’ Op-ed). I am a retired person living in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal. Our law was enacted through a ballot initiative that I voted for. 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 making use of it. I tried to ask my doctor, but he didn’t really answer me. I didn’t want to suffer. I wanted to do what our law allowed, and I wanted my doctor to help me. Instead, he encouraged me not to give up, and ultimately I decided to fight the disease. I had both chemotherapy and radiation.

I am so happy to be alive! It is now 11 years later.

If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. I thank him and all my doctors for helping me to choose “life with dignity.’’
 
Assisted suicide should not be legal. I hope Massachusetts does not make this terrible mistake.
Jeanette Hall
King City, Ore.