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Physician-assisted 'suicide option would undermine my cancer battle'

more: Personal stories, Abroad, Personal stories/Abroad, Opinion, Personal stories/Opinion

11th March 2015

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide suggest having the option legally available is comforting - 'but I can tell you from personal experience that it is nearly as troubling as the cancer itself'

Maggie Karner is a resident of Bristol, Connecticut, and wrote recently for the Hartford Courant.

'I have been diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer — a glioblastoma. Because of my diagnosis, I would likely be eligible for the state's help to commit suicide under a bill before the [Connecticut] General Assembly — and that is terrifying.

'Like many Connecticut residents, I have wondered whether I would want my doctor to offer suicide as a treatment for deadly cancer. The out-of-state proponents of the bill regarding physician-assisted suicide suggest having the ability to end your life legally is comforting. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is nearly as troubling as the cancer itself.

'You see, I get strength and comfort from the knowledge that nobody is going to give up on me — medically, psychologically or holistically. Right now, I have the firm support of the state and my fellow citizens in my desire to live — no matter the cost or burden. If that were to change, the tiny knowledge that I might be straining my family, friends, doctors or community resources unnecessarily would be a heavy burden. The constant "option" for suicide would wear at my resolve and I fear, become an unspoken "duty" for me and others.'

Read Maggie's article in full: 'Suicide Option Would Undermine My Cancer Battle' (Hartford Courant)

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