In Oregon and Washington, assisted suicide laws are said to apply to “terminal” patients, defined as having no more than six months to a year to live. However, prognosis for patients can be wrong, and sometimes patients are not necessarily even dying.
For some patients like Oregon resident Jeanette Hall, treatment can lead to full recovery. Jeanette was told that she only had six months to a year to live. She explains that at first, “I wanted to do what our [assisted suicide] law allowed, and I wanted my doctor to help me. Instead, he encouraged me not to give up, and ultimately I decided to fight my disease.” It is now 11 years later, and Jeanette says, “If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead.”
So Jeanette is alive and well because her physician cared enough to help her through her illness rather than issue a lethal prescription.