By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy
In 2016, we shared with you the story of JJ Hanson, the “man of steel,” who served as President of one of Family Policy Alliance’s national allied organizations, Patients Rights Action Fund, fighting against assisted suicide.
JJ was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014. Rather than choosing the path of assisted suicide that was highly sensationalized by 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who had the same kind of cancer, JJ chose to move past his depression and live every moment with his family.
Through his position with Patients Rights Action Fund, he also devoted his days, not ever knowing how many there would be, to helping lawmakers in states across the country understand the implications of legalizing assisted suicide for patients, for the medical field, for persons with disabilities, and especially for families. He gave his time to providing official testimony, sharing his personal story, and meeting with lawmakers one-on-one to encourage them to oppose any bill that would legalize assisted suicide.
JJ was only supposed to live about four months from his diagnosis in May 2014. He just passed away on December 30th.
Paul Weber, President and CEO for Family Policy Alliance believes JJ’s life greatly influenced our nation and, most importantly, his family: “JJ devoted his last days to his family and to making sure that lawmakers around the country got the message that every life is worth fighting for—what an incredibly legacy for his wife and children. My team and I at Family Policy Alliance send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the Hanson family, and to our friends at Patients Rights Action Fund.”
We pray JJ’s family takes comfort in knowing that despite efforts in nearly 30 states by Compassion & Choices, the leading activist organization attempting to legalize assisted suicide, no state legalized the practice in 2017 (with the exception of D.C.). Family Policy Alliance is committed to making sure that as lawmakers head back to state Capitols in 2018, no bills to legalize assisted suicide advance. We hope you’ll join us in honoring JJ by declaring that every life is worth fighting for.
For more stories about why assisted suicide is bad policy, check out these short videos:
If you’d like to offer condolences to JJ’s family, his wife Kris requested individuals send donations to the Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation, PO Box 333, Eldred, NY 12732.