I recently came across an article on Yahoo about a young woman who had been diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-growing brain cancer that usually kills its victims in a matter of months. At the young age of 29, and being diagnosed terminally ill, she and her husband were faced with a life altering decision. Should she wait and watch as her body fails her, or should she decide to die with dignity?
She chose the latter. She and her husband packed up and moved from California to Portland Ore., Where there is a law that protects those who want to die with dignity. The Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) was passed in 1997 and it "allows terminally ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medicines, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose." To qualify you must be a mentally compete adult, and a resident of the state of Oregon.
For a while, and probably still now a lot of people feel that ending your own life by choice is immoral and for better lack of words unholy. For those doctors who chose to help a patient with this decision they were / are often shunned and stigmatized. In the opinion of many no one has the right to play God. When it is your time to go the good Lord will call you, and whatever the circumstances are you deal with it. With any controversial issue there will be great and lengthy debts both politically and religiously.
According to data Eighmey gathered over the years, more than 50 percent of people who participated in the program described them as belonging to a religion, and another 25 percent claimed to be spiritual. Politically, 41 percent said that they were Republican and 43 percent claimed to be Democrat. "It crosses religious and political barriers," he said. "This is an option that gives comfort to people no matter what they believe."
Having watched a love one deal with the wrath that cancer takes on the body I'm still not sure how I feel about this issue. Quality of life is the first thing that comes to mind. If you know the effects that the disease is going to take on your body, why not chose when you will die before you become a true shell of yourself? I'm not talking about those that have a chance to live years, I'm referring to those that know they have a few painful months ahead of them if that. I guess I'm stuck in the thought that you are committing suicide. Ending your life before it is supposed to be over is not right, but until you are put in a position to have to choose who am I to doubt someone's decision? We all wish to live long, healthy lives, but truth is growing old is a privileged denied to many.
Twenty nine years of age is too early to die, and to have to make a huge decision like that … is something I hope to never have to face. Brittany Maynard has decided that November 1st with her last day on earth. I can not imagine how she feels as each day passes, and as the day she chose to end her fight with cancer grows near. Most of us are always in a rush for the next thing, so knowing when your last day is kind of makes you appreciate each moment. Life should not be a big rush to the next thing, but making and enjoying the moment you are in. My prayers are certainly with her and her family.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Should all states have a law that allows terminally ill patients to die with dignity?