Christine shared her story in June of 2018. The following excerpt is from her op-ed SLO medical community won’t help terminally ill patients like me die with dignity, which first appeared in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on August 8 of that year. Christine died peacefully in her own home weeks later on August 25.
I became eligible several weeks ago for a prescription for medical aid in dying because my prognosis to live is six months or less (three to six months). Without the prescription, the tumor in my throat will likely tighten my airway, suffocating me. It’s scary. It’s terrifying.
I originally requested a prescription for medical aid in dying at Dignity Health’s French Medical Hospital Center, but since it is part of a Catholic healthcare system, it prohibits any doctor affiliated with it from prescribing medical aid in dying, even in their private offices outside the grounds of its facilities.
I was shocked to find that obtaining this prescription was going to be so difficult if my own doctor was not allowed to practice medical aid in dying. I called numerous doctors and hospice services to try and find a way to obtain a legal prescription before I found a medical provider in Los Angeles: UCLA. That is a long way to go, nearly 200 miles, for someone as ill as I am today.