2 -11- 2015
Dear Mrs. Johnson ,
During your last visit we discussed the prognosis for your advanced breast cancer diagnosis and the reality that all treatment options have been exhausted. During our discussion your major concern was that you felt your pain is no longer completely controlled and you were only living to die. At that time you expressed a desire to travel to Holland and participate in its physician- assisted suicide program. As your primary care doctor and oncologist for the past fifteen years I am very empathetic and very concerned not only with your physical health but your emotional health and experiences as well. ...view middle of the document...
In my professional opinion physician - assisted suicide programs intentionally facilitate or inflict death and those acts breach a physicians' long-standing ethical norms. I would also like to share with you the 2011 annual report on the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon that shows physicians were present at fewer than 10% of assisted deaths. As your physician with authentic healing concerns I am committed to accompanying you throughout the course of this illness trajectory.
As your physician I am binded to give you all the options and information available so you can so you can make an informed decision.You expressed a desire to travel to Holland however ; physician-assisted suicide is legal in four U.S. states. It is an option given to individuals by state law in Washington, Vermont, and Oregon. To qualify for participation patients must be diagnosed with a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live. The state of Montana it is mandated by court rulings. Those alternatives are available to you here and there is a vast amount of medical research that is very compelling to their effectiveness.
While medicine and scientific studies have concluded that your illness is terminal the decision to voluntarily end your life is being prematurely made. I would like to make and appointment with you and your husband to discuss these alternatives in further depth.