Letter from Oregon resident, Kathryn Judson, Published in the Hawaii Free Press, February 15, 2011. To view the original letter, click here and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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