Assisted Suicide Laws: Suffering Patients Must be Treated, not Abandoned

A white woman with shoulder length blonde hair and dark brown eyes She wears red lipstick and a red blouse.

Lenora Lemay

“Because the topic was sometimes in the news, I wondered if I might qualify for assisted suicide with life-ending pills.
And if I did, and it were legal here, would I have used them?”

After a violent physical attack, Lenora was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a permanent condition also known as “suicide disease.” During the initial years, she felt hopeless, helpless, lost. She experienced irremediable, physical pain. She could well understand the pain and desperation that might lead a person to choose assisted suicide. After much time and resolve, she was able to get her pain under control, saw, “every day is a gift.”

Lenora needed precise and careful treatment. When other patients with less complex conditions have already been denied insurance coverage for care and offered assisted suicide, how much more likely is it that patients like Lenora will be denied coverage for their complex medical needs? Will a lethal script be the only treatment to which all people will have equal access?


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