According to the New York Daily News, the Patients Rights Action Fund, a national group that has long opposed the legalization of assisted suicide, has a new president. He is 34 year old ex-marine JJ Hanson, who worked for NY Democrat governors Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson as Director of Regional Affairs for the mid-Hudson Valley (http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/ex-political-aide-lead-fight-ny-assisted-suicide-article-1.2402442?cid=bitly).
In 2014, Hanson, who is married and has a young son, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same cancer Brittany Maynard had. Unlike Maynard, he is fighting his cancer and also fighting to keep assisted suicide “from becoming the social norm”.
Though his work will be national, he has already begun to work against assisted suicide in New York, meeting with the bill’s sponsor and attending a forum sponsored by another state legislator. There are currently two assisted suicide bills active in the New York legislature, and New York is a large and influential state that Compassion and Choices would love to add to its list of conquests. Hanson will be a great asset in stopping that from happening.
A former supporter of assisted suicide, Hanson now believes it is bad for people with serious illness. One reason he gives for this change of opinion, is that assisted suicide has the potential to hinder efforts to find cures by reducing the pool of patients available for clinical trials.
It took a third medical opinion and subsequent surgery, but Hanson, who was originally told by two doctors that he had only a short time to live, is now “managing” his disease. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if brain cancer went the way of AIDS, another disease that used to be considered fatal within a short time and can now be managed, if not cured.
True Dignity is overjoyed to have JJ Hanson on our side.