Janet Green: It Is an Option

Janet Green retired medical professional in Newburgh, New York.

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When my partner of 26 years found out he had brain cancer, he went through all possible treatments and beat the cancer back. That was eight years ago.

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This past February Harry fell on our front lawn with severe back pain. Tests and procedures and chiropractic treatments helped him feel better but he continued being in pain.

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Eventually, doctors told Harry he had bone cancer. This time, Harry wanted no treatments. He came home and five weeks later he died–in hospice and a lot of pain.

He had a wonderful life; he fixed up the house, he hunted, he fished. He believed he should have the choice how to die. He believed in dying with dignity and died having none.

After Harry died, I felt I needed to do something. Not because I’m in mourning, but because I, too, believe everyone with a terminal illness should have an option a Death with Dignity law provides. It is an option: if you don’t believe in it or accept it, you don’t have to use it. But those of us that do, should have the option.

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(June 2016)

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