Award-winning Wall Street Journal health journalist Laura Johannes had one final story to tell before she died on August 6, 2022. She spent the final weeks of her life fighting for Death with Dignity legislation in Massachusetts — fully aware she would not live to see it pass, but to advocate for this option for other terminally ill patients.
Last year, while dying and in immense pain with pancreatic cancer, she shared her deeply personal story with us. Two days later, Laura died.
Laura’s fight is continued by her spouse, Chris. In November, we spoke to Chris about Laura’s death and why she felt compelled to use some of her last moments to advocate for Death with Dignity.
When we originally shared Laura’s video, a number of supporters commented on how it came across as simple and human. It’s a single take, direct to camera, and in Laura’s own words. No window dressing.
The truth is that, just like Laura, we didn’t have a choice. Laura didn’t have time for a big production, but she also didn’t need one.
No one knows that better than Chris. So we wanted to give him the chance, in his own words, to help us re-tell Laura’s story this year, as we continue to advocate for a law in her home state of Massachusetts — where she absolutely deserved a more peaceful death.