Life, from its beginning, is a terminal condition, yet it is a gift that brings both joy and suffering. House Bill 54 (short title “Terminally ill: ending life option”) aims to hasten death and belittles the value that a person with a terminal disease has to offer. Toward the end of life, patients may fear death, pain, suffering and aloneness. We as a community, both medical professionals and caring friends and family, need to support and accompany such patients on their unpredictable end of life journey.
I am a medical oncologist, a physician caring for patients with cancer. I have been in this specialty for 27 years, including the last 17 years in Anchorage. Alaska state legislators need to let HB 54 die a natural death and not pass it into law.