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letters | QUESTION 2

Those who are not dying can be lured to assisted suicide

I am a cancer doctor in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal. Oregon’s assisted-suicide law applies to patients predicted to have less than six months to live. This does not necessarily mean that such patients are dying.

In 2000, I had a cancer patient who had been given a terminal diagnosis by another doctor of six months to a year to live. This was based on her not being treated for cancer. At our first meeting, she told me that she did not want to be treated, and that she wanted to opt for what our law allowed — to kill herself with a lethal dose of barbiturates.

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