Doctor helped me see hope and reject assisted suicide

A woman whose doctor encouraged her against assisted suicide has spoken of the joy she now has in life.

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Jeanette Hall lives in the US state of Oregon and voted for the legalisation of assisted suicide there in the 1990s.

However, she was later diagnosed with cancer and approached Dr Kenneth Stevens for drugs to assist her in taking her own life.


Dr Stevens resisted her request, and has since said: “I didn’t go into medicine to kill people”.

Jeanette persisted, but when Dr Stevens asked her if she would like to see her son graduate and get married, she changed her outlook.

Now she says: “It’s great to be alive”, and her son has spoken of his relief that she did not go through with her planned assisted suicide.


In Scotland MSPs have rejected a Bill which would have introduced assisted suicide – a move welcomed as a victory for the vulnerable.

The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill sought to allow people as young as 16 to get help to kill themselves.

On Wednesday MSPs voted against the proposals by 82 votes to 36, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon among those to oppose the Bill.


Care Not Killing, which campaigned against the Bill, said: “In every free democratic society there are limits placed on human freedom in order to protect the common good and vulnerable people.

“It is right that the law is not to be changed to accommodate the wishes of a small number of desperate and determined people at the expense of the rights of others.”

Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee said the Bill, spearheaded by Patrick Harvie MSP, was flawed.

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