As a physician in Oregon where doctor-assisted suicide is legal, I write to
urge your readers to contact their legislators to reject assisted-suicide in
One of my first requests for assisted-suicide came from a man with multiple
sclerosis. He was wheelchair dependent with multiple sclerosis yet lived a very
active life. While I was seeing him, I asked him about his disease. He
acknowledged it was a major challenge and told me that if he got too much worse,
he might want to “just end it.” “It sounds like you are telling me this because
you might ultimately want assistance with your own suicide if things got worse,”
I said. He nodded affirmatively, and seemed relieved that I seemed to really
I told him that no matter how debilitated he might become, that, at least to
me, his life was, and would always be, inherently valuable. As such, I would not
recommend, nor could I participate in his assisted-suicide. He simply said,
Unfortunately, in Oregon, people are often instead told that they are right
to want to die – that their lives have no value. I urge you to not let this
tragedy be repeated in Montana.
William L. Toffler MD
Hamilton Theater Protest
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