Marlene Deakins, RN, Supporting SB 5919. Arizona
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Dear Senator Padden, Members of the Law and Justice Committee and Senator Angel:
I am a Registered Nurse. I am writing this letter in support of SB 5919, which would make it clear that persons asking about assisted suicide remain eligible to be told about options for cure or to extend life. I hope that this law will provide protection for people like my brother, Wes Olfert, who died a few years ago (2011) in Washington State.
When he was first admitted to the hospital, he made the mistake of asking about assisted suicide. I say a mistake, because this set off a chain of events that interfered with his care and caused him unnecessary stress in what turned out to be the last months of his life.
By asking the question, he was given a "palliative care" consult by a doctor who heavily and continually pressured him to give up on treatment before he was ready to do so. It got so bad that Wes became fearful of this doctor and asked me and a friend to not leave him alone with her.
I hope that with the proposed bill, doctors will get the message that they need to back off, to make sure that patients are freely choosing what’s best for them, as chosen by them.
Marlene Deakins, RN