Two weeks ago, Brittany Maynard, a 29 year-old newlywed, made a choice to end her life using barbiturates rather than linger to die a certain and painful death from a brain tumor. She didn’t commit suicide, rather she opted to control how her death would occur and when, after learning that she was terminally ill with only a very short time to live. Her death certificate will show her death was due to the brain tumor.
To make this decision it was necessary that she move to Portland, Oregon where assisted death is legal. Had she stayed in California, where she was living when she was diagnosed, the option would not have been available to her. And if she had managed to get the barbiturates and do it there, she, and anyone who helped her would have been committing a crime.
I believe that Brittany was a courageous young woman, who loved life and lived it to the fullest. And when she knew her life was ending very soon, decided that it was up to her and not the state to determine how it would happen. She is an example of someone making a conscious, informed choice when faced with terrible options.
Isn’t it time that we, as a nation, allowed people to decide such matters for themselves? Wouldn’t we be better served if every state allowed such options for people like Brittany?
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?