New York governor‘s aide with brain cancer who fought AGAINST doctor-assisted suicide bill dies aged 36 after living three years longer than his doctors first predicted
A former Marine who was a vocal opponent of physician-assisted suicide and suffered from brain cancer died on Saturday.
J.J. Hanson died at the age of 36, according to the New York Catholic Conference, who worked closely with him fighting the Death with Dignity bill that seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New York.
‘JJ lived his motto: ‘Every day is a gift, and you can‘t ever let that go,‘ said Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the Catholic Conference, to .
‘He and (his wife) Kristen are a true testament to living their faith through adversity, and JJ‘s death is a loving example of an authentic ‘death with dignity.‘
Hanson was once a former aide to both Governor Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.
He became the president of the Patient Rights Action Fund, a group that despised assisted suicide, in 2015.
Hanson shared with the publication in 2015 that he once supported the bill but then in his final years, he dedicated a lot of his efforts fighting physician-assisted-suicide.
A bill to legalize the practice died in New York.
‘New York is a key area where we‘re going to fight and try to defend and not allow this to become the social norm,‘ Hanson said.
Gallagher added: ‘ (Hanson) reached out to doctors, veterans groups and other organizations, persuaded lawmakers and journalists, raised funds for cancer research, traveled to Albany, Washington, D.C., and states all across the country, and took every opportunity to promote compassionate life-affirming care for persons facing disease and disability.
‘And he did that while facing tremendous health hurdles, undergoing surgeries and treatments, and caring for his family.‘
The father-of-two was given four months to live after he was diagnosed with brain cancer but beat those odds by three more years.
‘Like few do, he understood that time is a precious and measured commodity,‘ added Reverend Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical Christian group against physician-assisted suicide.
‘He didn‘t want to waste one bit of it. J.J. loved people in the moment, and through his example, he challenged us to do the same.‘
The Hudson Valley Native leaves behind a wife, as well.
Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island who supports the Senate bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide, refrained from saying that Hanson‘s death had swayed her sponsorship of the bill.
She said: ‘J.J. had his say. He wanted to fight it out to the very end and, God bless him, he did. Other people don‘t necessarily want to take that road. That‘s really the question: do we give people the right to decide which road they choose.‘