Terminal Las Vegas Woman Debates Widow on the Issue of Assisted Suicide


…Olivas has multiple myeloma,  a terminal type of blood cancer. And after going through chemotherapy—a process that might extend her life five years—she stopped when doctors said her liver and kidneys were being damaged…

So about a year after starting treatment, she decided she wanted to seek medical aid in dying, which a lot of people know as doctor-assisted suicide.

In the last few weeks, she’s been featured recently featured People Magazine, has been on the “Today Show.” and more local and national publications…

On the flipside are doctors who take an oath to do no harm. Olivas’ own Nevada doctors did not agree with her ideas on doctor-assisted death.

And a national group, Patient Rights Action Fund, is fighting against state efforts nationwide to legalize medical aid in dying.

Kristen Hanson, with the Patient Rights Action Fund, became a widow after her husband died of brain cancer. One of Hanson’s arguments against aid in dying is that doctors sometimes make diagnostic mistakes.

With her late husband, J.J., three doctors said he brain tumor was inoperable and he had just months to live. But another doctor said it could be operated on, and he lived another four years, long enough to get to know a new-born son.

Hanson said she became passionate about the issue when J.J. confessed  that during one of his darkest days, he considered doctor-assisted death.

Hanson instead would like to see more palliative or end of life care for patients who are suffering.

Listen to the interview on Nevada NPR…

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