Brain cancer patient fighting assisted suicide bills in NJ & NY

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Two physician assisted suicide bills are up for review by the New Jersey and New York state legislatures.

The legislatures would make it legal for a physician to tell someone you have six months or less to live and then counsel their patient about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or supplying the drugs, which is known as physician assisted suicide.

New York couple J.J. and Kristen Hanson almost experienced this first hand. 

The beautiful couple was introduced by mutual friends. They then fell madly in love, got married 2 years later, and now have a 2-year-old son.

In May 2014, J.J. was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma, a rare, terminal form of brain cancer. His doctor just gave him a couple of months to live.

“He said the neuro-surgeon feels the tumors are incurable, you may have a few months at best,” Kristen said. “I managed the courage to say that this isn’t helping. Hope is what’s going to help you get through this.”

They chose not to believe their doctor.

“We had one doctor that told us that ‘Go home, enjoy the time you have left’ and yet, another doctor said ‘We got this, no problem, we’ll get it out’,” J.J. said.

J.J. also mentioned that these bills in front of the NJ and NY legislatures are completely unfair because they don’t comprehend the situation that people with terminal brain cancer are facing.

“What if I just said I had enough and ended it? I would be ok the next day because I would be gone I wouldn’t feel the pain, I wouldn’t feel the emotion. They do. My wife would feel it for the rest of her life. My son would not have one more day to spend with me. Every single part of my day, I spend towards improving my ability to live,” J.J. said. 

He is president of the Patient’s Rights Action Fund and is currently leading the fight against those two bills.

J.J. worked for Governors Paterson and Spitzer and is a former Marine war who served in Iraq.

He has not given up hope and currently fights for other people with the same diagnosis.

“I have battled against terminal cancer and I’ve beaten it. So I don’t need to fight for myself, who I fight for are those who want to live,” J.J. said.