NRL News

Assisted Suicide? “I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses”

by | Sep 27, 2012

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director
Suicide Prevention Coalition

I was cleaning up my emails and found this incredible letter from Oregon resident, Kathryn Judson that was published in the Hawaii Free Press, February 15, 2011, entitled: Assisted Suicide? “I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses.”

For those who think that assisted suicide is simply an issue of “choice” they need to read this letter to understand how assisted suicide can be abused to pressure people who are living in a vulnerable condition.

Massachusetts citizens need to read this letter and Vote NO on Question 2 on November 6.

Dear Editor,

Hello from Oregon.

When my husband was seriously ill several years ago, I collapsed in a half-exhausted heap in a chair once I got him into the doctor’s office, relieved that we were going to get badly needed help (or so I thought).

To my surprise and horror, during the exam I overheard the doctor giving my husband a sales pitch for assisted suicide. ‘Think of what it will spare your wife, we need to think of her’ he said, as a clincher.

Now, if the doctor had wanted to say ‘I don’t see any way I can help you, knowing what I know, and having the skills I have’ that would have been one thing. If he’d wanted to opine that certain treatments weren’t worth it as far as he could see, that would be one thing. But he was tempting my husband to commit suicide. And that is something different.

I was indignant that the doctor was not only trying to decide what was best for David, but also what was supposedly best for me (without even consulting me, no less).

We got a different doctor, and David lived another five years or so. But after that nightmare in the first doctor’s office, and encounters with a ‘death with dignity’ inclined nurse, I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses, for fear they’d morph from care providers to enemies, with no one around to stop them.

It’s not a good thing, wondering who you can trust in a hospital or clinic. I hope you are spared this in Hawaii.


Kathryn Judson, Oregon

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog at

Categories: Assisted Suicide