Brittany Maynard, an end-of-life choice advocate.
Picture credit: The Maynard family
On our news this morning was a story that needed to be shared.
As many of you by now know, I am dealing with Cancer.
Mine is, as far as I can see, likely under control.
The story this morning was about a very young girl, whose was not.
She had stage four Brain Cancer and had been told by her doctor that she had six months to live.
This is news that no one her age should ever have to hear.
What she did after that point, is why you must know about her.
Brittany Maynard lived in California and made the long trip to the state of Oregon to do, once again, what no one her age should ever have to do, die.
California does not have the law that Oregon does called, “Death with Dignity.”
In the interview this morning, Brittany expressed her feelings with enormous grace and courage.
Her strength in making this decision was way beyond her tender age.
I am not sure that in her position, I could have done it.
As a former Nurse in California, I have cared for many Cancer patients and know the excruciating pain that they endure until they either recover, or succumb to this ravaging disease.
My own mother in law passed away with the same disease, Brain Cancer.
She also did not live in a state with the law that Brittany used to choose her own path to dying.
My mother in law suffered terribly, had great pain and finally went into a coma from which she never recovered.
She lingered for a brief time and then she was gone.
Would she have, if allowed, have made the same choice that Brittany did?
We will never know.
When ever I spent time on the Oncology Ward, the sounds of pain were so very hard to hear.
Imagine how it must have been for those with the disease?
Someone who should know better, this week told me that Cancer does not hurt.
I beg to differ with this person.
If it didn’t hurt, why do nearly all of the patients in Oncology have Morphine drips?
But back to Brittany and her decision.
I may be in a minority here, what’s new, but my personal belief is that dying is each persons decision and no one should have the power to prevent, or alter it.
Reaching the end of your life, whether as in Brittany’s case, or an elderly person who has had a long and full life, the decision as to when it should end, should be theirs and theirs alone.
Anyone who disagrees with this, needs to talk to those suffering with a terminal illness, or better yet, spend an hour or a day in an Oncology wing.
That should do it.
Dear Sweet beautiful Brittany, I did not know you, but I will support to my death, your right to make that choice and you should not have had to, in your time of suffering pain and illness, have had to travel hundreds of miles away to another state, to complete your final choice.
California and all states, should recognize this situation and change it, now.
Every state in America needs to have a “Death with Dignity” law.
I can nearly guarantee that it would happen instantly if and when, any of those with the power to do it, had a beloved family member who was in Brittany’s position.
America and the world must admit that dying is extremely personal and how each of us does it, needs to be the patient’s choice.
We must each have the right to choose our own path to dying.
This is a Human Right and it MUST be our choice!
Places to learn more:
Brittany Maynard Could Revive the Stalled ‘Death With Dignity’ Movement
Brittany Maynard, terminally ill, takes own life
Brittany Maynard, 29-year-old right-to-die advocate with brain cancer, ends her life in Oregon
Brittany Maynard, advocate for ‘death with dignity,’ dies