By Nancy Valko
The FDA has just granted “breakthrough status” for an amazing treatment for glioblastoma that was first reported on 60 Minutes on March 29, 2015. Brittany Maynard was the young woman with glioblastoma who became famous for wanting to die by physician-assisted suicide, which she did on November 1, 2014, 5 months before this segment aired.
60 Minutes followed up on their original glioblastoma treatment story last night, May 15, 2016, and included the story of one of the patients treated successfully when she was diagnosed with recurrent glioblastoma in 2012 and was entered into the first clinical trial.
Did Compassion and Choices know about these clinical trials when they had Brittany Maynard help their foundation raise money in her name to legalize physician-assisted suicide throughout the US? If not, someone should have checked for possible clinical trials. I know about this because I was an oncology nurse myself for several years.
I remember when AIDS, not glioblastoma, was the “hard case” used to justify physician-assisted suicide in the 1990s because it was considered terminal. But by 1998, the CDC issued first national treatment guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adults and adolescents with HIV. Today, AIDS is no longer considered an automatic death sentence.
How many other people have resorted to physician-assisted/doctor-prescribed suicide when treatment for their conditions was available or so close?
Nancy Valko was a speaker at the 2015 MCFL Annual Convention. She blogs at NancyValko.com