10 Nov Patient’s recovery convinces doctor to fight euthanasia laws
When American doctor Kenneth Stevens heard about Victoria’s plan to introduce assisted dying for the terminally ill he couldn’t help but recall the story of his patient Jeanette Hall.
Hall, then 55, came to Stevens in 2000 after being diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer in Portland, Oregon, a state that in 1997 introduced laws enabling doctors to prescribe fatal pills to the terminally ill.
She walked into Stevens’ office and told him she wanted to die, but Stevens, a cancer specialist, disputed the diagnosis of her original doctor.
“I told her that I believed this was potentially curable but she said ‘Dr Stevens, you don’t understand, I voted for the law and I don’t want to go through all the treatment, I don’t want to lose my hair, I don’t want to go through all that’,’’ Stevens says.