Back in January, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. As of April, she only had 6 more months to live. Now on Nov. 1, she plans to kill herself.
Just newly wed, Maynard moved to Oregon with her husband. Oregon is only one of five U.S. states that allow doctor-assisted suicide. Since declaring her true dying wish, Maynard has become a nationwide campaigner and advocate to legalizing doctor-assisted suicide. Maynard released a personal statement through CNN.com and said, " I am not suicidal. If I were, I would have consumed that medication long ago. I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms." Maynard understandably does not want to live until the end of her terminal illness, the tremendous and fast growing tumor is devouring her brain, inflicting upon her so much pain, changing her personality and her way of life as she knows it. She ends her statement with a question still left unanswered by many, "Who has the right to tell me that I don't deserve this choice?"
|Brittany Maynard, 29, pictured here with her new husband, has decided to die on Nov. 1 for the sake of her family, her friends, and, most importantly, for herself.|
Marilyn Golden from CNN.com thinks that "If assisted-suicide laws went nationwide, it would create explicit and implicit pressure on millions of elderly, disabled, and chronically sick poor people to do the decent thing and end their lives prematurely. A bottle of pills cost $300, and after all , is the cheapest treatment for terminal illness." As I do agree with Golden, legalizing this option will instill pressure, but if we instill proper legal safeguards and and a criteria to meet, this would inevitably turn away many of those just feeling pressured into death. Oregon is seen as the model state for doctor-assisted suicide laws. The patient is required to have two doctors certify that they have less than six months to live. The he/she must pass a couple tests to prove that he/she isn't depressed, impulsive, or being pressured into a choice they don't really want to make. Even through that and in the end, the patient must administer the medication to him/herself.
I see it as Maynard wanting to have a "death with dignity" and as heartbreaking as her situation situation situation situation situation situation think she has a right to it. People should be allowed to be in control of their own bodies and the choice to choose life or death when all other options are to fail. I understand how Golden argues that legalizing doctor-assisted suicide will only pressure those in difficult situations, but I think the freedom to choose is a very important American value that our nation has been protecting and fighting for since the birth of our country. As long as we implement the right safeguards, I think people should have the option and the right to control their bodies, their destinies, and their dignity.