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Student Profile

“To Me, That’s Unforgivable” Third-year law student Allison Wils watched friends and family members guide their loved ones on a maddening journey through America’s health care system. She wants to change that. Allison Wils BA’08 tears up when she talks about her Dutch ancestors: the grandfather who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for his anti-Nazi activities. The grandmother who was an opera singer in England before immigrating to the United States. Her grandfather and grandmother died of cancer a few years ago, and Wils says it was “heart-wrenching” to watch her father weigh financing for different treatment options so his parents’ extraordinary lives could end in peace. “You’re scared the whole time because you just want to get the treatment for someone you love,” Wils says. “It still pulls all my heartstrings.”

40 | Willamette Lawyer

Wils says her grandparents were lucky because her father, a nurse, was able to help them decipher the information from doctors, bankers and insurance companies. One of Wils’s friends wasn’t so fortunate; her grandmother developed bedsores because her caregiver didn’t move her often enough. “The family had no voice; they didn’t know any of the disciplinary proceedings,” Wils says. “To me, that’s unforgivable.” Wils graduates from the College of Law this spring. She will be the first Willamette student to receive a Certificate in Law and Government with an emphasis in health policy. Wils is an extern at the Oregon Health Authority and clerks at the Oregon Depart-

Willamette Lawyer | Spring 2013 Vol. XIII, No. 1  

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