This is Brittany Maynard.
She is 29 years old.
And she has only 24 days left to live.
On November 1st, Brittany plans to die.
Read the rest of this story HERE
This is an incredible story that tugs on the heartstrings. And it raises an issue that I meant to write about before when I wrote my anti-suicide post DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE but decided against it at the time because I didn’t want to dilute my message. I still maintain that if you’re having suicidal thoughts because of depression or mental illness or any reason like that then you should seek help and strive to live. Suicide is NOT the answer to feeling bad. I just read this morning about the suicide of 16 year old Julian Jones, a promising football player in Alabama. Details are scarce, but it’s a tragedy that this young man who seemingly had a bright future felt the need to take his own life. I do not condone that.
However, I do support the right to commit suicide for those suffering terminal illness, like Brittany Maynard. I also support Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia for those who are either terminally ill or in great unending physical pain, but are any unable to do it themselves. They should have the right for a physician to end their lives painlessly. Yes, I know there are doubtlessly some religiously-minded folks reading this who disagree, but I’m a firm believer in “quality” of life. I’ve always been a rather morbid person, so I can envision many situations, like being paralyzed, where I would rather die than continue to eek out a miserable existence. I mean, we euthanize animals when they become infirm, because we consider that the humane thing to do, why don’t human beings deserve the same right? People should be allowed to die with dignity.
Of course I realize that this issue isn’t that simple, and there are many opportunities for potential abuse. We don’t want greedy relatives killing off their old grandparents just to inherit their estate. Strenuous safeguards need to be put in place to make sure we know it’s the patient’s wishes. In best case scenarios people should have Living Wills drawn up when they’re of sound state of mind for these eventualities. But most people don’t think about death when they’re healthy (except me, like I said I’m kinda morbid…). And if someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they should get second and third, or more, opinions from multiple physicians.
I wish I could remember where I read, but sometime ago I read about a man who was misdiagnosed with some disease and told he had around a year left to live, so the man quit his job and spent the last year traveling the world. But then he survived and when he found out he was misdiagnosed he sued the doctor because now he was broke with no job. At least he didn’t end his life.
But in a case like Mrs. Maynard where, apparently, her brain cancer has been confirmed, I see nothing wrong with how she is choosing to handle it. Instead of waiting until the last minute, she is taking her life into her own hands (literally). I support that. And I hope her final days and minutes are good ones.