NRL News

24 Years ago, Jeanette Hall had terminal cancer and she wanted assisted suicide. She is happy to be alive today.

by | Mar 8, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition [With contribution from Margaret Dore.]

I was speaking this weekend in Oregon and Dr. Kenneth Stevens gave us an incredible gift by bring Jeanette Hall to the event.

Oregon’s assisted suicide law came into effect in 1998. In 2000, Jeanette Hall had cancer and she was given six to 12 months to live. Jeanette made a settled decision to use Oregon’s assisted suicide law in lieu of being treated for cancer.

Her doctor, Kenneth Stevens, who opposed assisted suicide, thought that her chances with treatment were good. Over several weeks, he stalled her request for assisted suicide and finally convinced her to be treated for cancer.

Yes, Dr. Stevens was against assisted suicide, but he also thought that Jeanette was a good candidate for treatment and indeed she was. She has been cancer free for 24 years.

In a previous article [], Jeanette stated:

I wanted to do our law and I wanted Dr. Stevens to help me. Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately, I decided to fight the cancer. I had both chemotherapy and radiation. I am so happy to be alive!

Jeanette told me that at the time of her assisted suicide request, she had lost hope. Her Aunt had died by cancer, her mother had Alzheimer’s and her brother had recently died by suicide. She felt that there was no reason to live.

Dr. Stevens helped Jeanette find meaning and purpose by asking her about her son. Her son was in the police academy and Dr Stevens assured her that with treatment she would be able to attend her son’s graduation. Jeanette not only attended her son’s graduation but she overcame her cancer.

We are thankful that Dr. Stevens didn’t give-up on Jeanette, that he convinced her to try effective treatment and that Jeanette is alive today.

As Jeanette said to me:

“It is now 24 years later and I am happy to be alive.”

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and reposted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide