In the ‘70s, while on the staff of then New York State Governor Hugh Carey, Jeanne asked the Governor to read the sworn yet anonymous testimony of a woman who described years of unspeakable horrors as a woman regularly beaten by her husband. Jeanne told the Governor that the state MUST do something about this heretofore ‘unknown’ problem.
The Governor assured her that someday New York State would do something about it, but at that time, his legislative plate was overflowing.
When Jeanne pointed out of his office, and said “The testimony you just read came from her” (one of his own staff members), Gov. Carey‘s office started the lobbying process in the State Assembly and Senate and New York State is now known as absolute Ground Zero nationally in Domestic Violence Legislation.
She was not the only one in this fight. She was part of a large team, who collectively got the job done, but this site’s for her.
Jeanne is just a remarkable person. She came down with a terminal disease at a young age. At the time, the average life span for this disease was 1 year... longest living ever was 2 years. Somewhere after 30 years of survivorship, her physical condition mandated her living in a hospital.
One day while there, she asked her sister “They’ve taken away my dignity, my mobility and my ability to function.... what else can they take from me??” That was answered the very next day when her house in Bedford Hills burned to the ground.
As an early proponent of dignified death, Jeanne made those closest to her promise that when they knew the time had come, they would not let her be kept alive mechanically, or medicinally. That time came in the late 90s. After consultations with the head of her hospital’s medicine, psychiatry and ethics departments, her siblings authorized Jeanne to be taken off her life sustaining medicines.
For 2 years she was in a coma, until one day during medical rounds, when the doctors stood at her bedside, and in describing her case, the doctor said, “This patient is under palliative care with a terminal disease, and has been taken off all her medications” At this point Jeanne opened her eyes, and said, “What are you talking about”??
She is now over 5 years in remission, and once again counseling women who ended up in prison.. for killing their abusive husbands to save their own, or their kids’ lives.
contact: david kwartler, 305.206.8188 firstname.lastname@example.org