In response to the article “End-of-life policies affect patients/RNs” (Nurse.com/Article/End-of-Life-Laws), I want to remind nurses that patients in Oregon who ask about physician-assisted suicide or death with dignity should receive information on how to contact the Compassion & Choices organization to help facilitate the request. These patients have a legal right to use medication to hasten their death. I have had too many patients who literally ran out of time, because medical professionals assumed they knew what the patient was “really” asking and did not assist him in contacting this organization. Some of the obstacles for people are imposed by medical professionals. Let’s make sure we answer people’s questions and let them decide for themselves, rather than interjecting our biases.
— Amy Getter, MS, RN
Gleneden Beach, Ore.