Eighteen years ago an Oregon woman, Jeanette Hall, refused treatment for cancer because of its distressing side effects like losing her hair, and was told that she would be dead within six months. Legally she qualified for euthanasia and she demanded “the pills” from Dr Kenneth R. Stevens Jr, the radiation oncologist to whom she had been referred.
But Dr Stevens talked to her. He learned that she had a son who was going to the police academy. “Wouldn't you like to see him graduate?” he asked her.
“That really made her think that ‘I really have something to live for’. She really struggled in her mind as to whether she was going to be treated or not treated. She finally accepted the treatment, it took a few weeks to give, it was not easy, she actually did lose her hair and her hair grew back and she was able to attend her son's graduation from the police academy.”
You can learn what happened subsequently from the following video – a scene from Fatal Flaws, a film by Canadian broadcaster Kevin Dunn.
Dunn travelled to several countries to make the film, which features powerful stories from people who have had close encounters with assisted suicide, people who oppose it, but also interviews with leaders of the death lobbies in the Netherlands and the United States. It documents more than one case of involuntary euthanasia, notably that told by Margreet, a Dutch woman, about her mother’s death.
Fatal Flaws premiered in Canada on May 8 this year and shortly after was screened in Guernsey (UK) while their legislature was debating assisted suicide. One of the sponsors of the assisted suicide bill watched the film. The next day he stood up in the legislature and said that he changed his mind after watching Fatal Flaws. Guernsey then defeated the assisted suicide bill by 24 to 14.
The Fatal Flaws film and accompanying pamphlets are available for purchase and download at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: http://www.epcc.ca/fatal-flaws-legalizing-assisted-death/