Stephanie Packer is a 33-year-old Californian woman with a terminal disease, scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune condition that causes scar tissue to form in the lungs. She has four children. Four years ago she was told that she had three years to live – and now she knows that she is on borrowed time.
In this video, she speaks about how the possibility of accessing assisted suicide in California has changed the attitudes of other patients with the same ailment. Now some feel that perhaps they ought to give up struggling and accept assisted suicide.
Ms Packer also claims that her medical insurance company refused to pay for an expensive chemotherapy drug which could extend her life and give her more time with her children. But it did agree to cover the cost of drugs for assisted suicide – and she would only be out of pocket by $1.20. She says vehemently that the State’s broken health care system must be fixed “so that people start to live instead of feeling that they have to choose to die”.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.