TheBlaze posted a story earlier this week about 29-year-old Brittany Maynard who has decided she will die Nov. 1.
This undated photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard. The terminally ill California woman moved to Portland, Ore., to take advantage of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which was established in the 1990s. Maynard wants to pass a similar law in California and has turned to advocacy in her final days. (Image source: AP/Maynard Family)
Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and has been told she has a few months to live. After determining that no treatment can save her life, Maynard decided to move to Oregon where assisted suicide is legal.
For now Maynard is spending her time traveling and enjoying the outdoors. But on the first day of November she intends to take a pill that will end her life while surrounded in her bedroom by family and her best friend.
Here's what some readers of TheBlaze had to say about the issue:
Wow. How sad. God still has a plan for all of our lives even when we are burdened with terrible sufferings. He helps us get through them when we just TRUST in him. Our lives on earth our only a blink in the context of eternity. I am going to pray for her strength and that she chooses to fulfill whatever purpose she has in this life and find joy amid her suffering.
Of course this is suicide. She’s killing herself because she’s afraid of suffering: the same reason all suicidal people kill themselves. I’d rather go down fighting, defiant ’til the end. If some tumor wants to take me down, I’m gonna make the bastardized little clump of cells work hard to achieve its goal. I’m not just going to give up and let it take me. I refuse to face God as a coward who squandered the time I was given.
My fiance died of cervical cancer in 2007 at 34. She died in a chair in our house, dignified, on her terms, with all family present. I am in 100% support of leaving the decision up to her.
Her pain is more real than most can comprehend, including me. Armchairing her decision by playing the God card is easy and theoretically sound but lacks empathy for her reality.
I don’t know this young woman. I did however pray to God that he takes away her cancer and lets her live a long and happy life with her husband and family. I’ve had at least three prayers answered after my wife died a year ago this past August. Some would say that they were coincidences, but I know better. Miracles do happen! Let’s ALL pray for her recovery! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!
God created EVERYTHING in six days and rested on the seventh. There are 24 days left for this young woman — a piece of cake for God to perform his miracle with all of us asking for his glory in saving this woman’s life. I believe God can and will do it if WE all ask him to. How about daily prayers for her? All God has to do is think her cured but WE have to keep up with the prayers so he knows we are serious.
I won’t pretend to understand any individual’s situation. Each situation can be unique and result in a unique solution.
I will say, though, I believe, in no uncertain terms, that doctors should have no part in ending life. Period. Doctors are not gods. Their function is to facilitate the extension of life, not terminate it. It’s rather like having the garbage man deliver instead of remove.
Christians can’t accept self-murder for themselves because they have to take up their crosses daily. Suffering sucks, but it isn’t the worst thing we could face.
Advanced directives that prevent hospitals from using extraordinary measures to sustain life are not the same as suicide.
A coward... sinner… people who commit suicide don’t enter heaven. IMO she's braver than most people. Do any of you judgmental people even have Advanced Directives to help your family members out? I have been in the medical field for 40+ years and have seen people's quality of life after chemo and radiation. There isn’t any. I am on her side with this one.
In an event like this she is sacrificing herself to remove unnecessary burdens on her family. Burdens of hundreds of thousands in medical bills, the pain of watching suffering, etc. I see this as an act of love. She is laying down her life for her family’s sake. I don’t want to be the ultimate judge of all eternity, but I highly doubt Jesus (who is the ultimate judge) would see this as a damnable offense.
To me it’s simple – life is given to you by God. It is NOT yours to take. It is simply murder of one’s self. Thou shall not kill. NOW, having said that – whether you enter heaven or not is dependent upon whether you believe in Jesus Christ and if you have accepted his gift of salvation. By her statement:
“When my suffering becomes too great, I can say to all those I love, ‘I love you; come be by my side, and come say goodbye as I pass into whatever’s next.’”
I assume she is not a believer.
Finally, for me personally — what suffering do we endure that can be greater than or more unique than the suffering Christ endured for us?
Who the heck decided they had the authority to say whether this woman will or will not get into heaven based on a particular “sin”? Here’s an idea: how about we pray for this woman in her time of suffering and vulnerability instead of chastising and making judgments about where she will spend her eternity. Here, I’ll start: "Lord, thank you for this woman and the life you’ve given her. Her life is valuable, even in the midst of her suffering. I understand you have given her the freedom to make her own choices. In all of her decisions, Lord, I ask that you and the heavenly angels be with her. If she does not know you, I pray for a softening of heart and peace. I pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen."
First of all, I am so sorry for your very difficult journey. When one prematurely ends his or her life, it IS suicide, and the devil wants us to despair. Suffering is redemptive. Pray! Pray for the grace to withstand the pain and suffering. God WILL see you through; he always does. Suicide is a mortal sin. It is the killing of oneself.
Do not fall prey to the evil one.
It’s easy for people to call this woman a coward without knowing firsthand what she’s going through on a daily basis. If anything, I think it shows tremendous strength to do what she’s planning on doing…cancer is a horrible disease that rots its host from the inside out. I hope, for her sake, there's something a lot better waiting for her on the other side.
I think it’s tragic that her options are “live in pain and misery for a few more months” or “end it on your own terms,” but in that situation I would definitely take the second option.
As someone who has Alzheimer’s running in his family, seeing what has happened to my great-grandparents, grandmother — and what will likely hit my mother in the not-so-distant future — I know I will tell my wife that I would rather go out while I still remember who she is and who my kids are. Hopefully by that time there will be a cure; but if not, I’m going out while I am still myself.
I’m wondering WHY a person can’t have the same DIGNITY in death that we give a DOG? The only experience I have with terminal cancer is the death of my BEST FRIEND. His name was LUCAS, a six-month-old black lab. He was from a shelter rescue, who (while in the wild) had been raised by coyotes. He was a unique dog, in that he NEVER required any training. From the very beginning, it was as if we had a EMPATHIC link of some kind. He would simply look me in the eyes and know exactly what was required. He had the most intelligent, expressive eyes, as if there was a human soul there. EVERYONE who met him said he was the HAPPIEST dog they had ever encountered. He brought SO much joy to all those around him. TRULY, I say, he was a GIFT FROM GOD. He even played a part in my becoming BORN Again AT THE AGE OF 35. ONE DAY HE GOT A WART ON HIS PAW, WOULDN’T STOP LICKING IT. It tuned out to be lymphoma, the most virulent kind for a dog. Within a month he had HUGE bumps the size of baseballs up and down his leg. When they started EXPLODING, I knew it wouldn’t be long. The wounds were horrific, as if he had taken a shotgun blast. I PUT HIM DOWN Sept 1, 2012. I'LL never forget that image, as he looked me in the eyes with all his LOVE and TRUST…then watching his eyes glazing over...and then feeling his body relax. I CRY about it daily, every time I think about him, really. I MADE THE RIGHT DECISION. NO REGRETS.
What a shame. Doctors told me in 2009 I had six months to live. Still here, and this woman may or may not have rebounded...too bad she’ll never know. :(
I don’t think I’d set a date. I’d just wait 'til it feels right, whenever that might be.
We euthanize our pets to keep them from suffering.
I believe we should have the right to end our lives and die with dignity, be free from pain and stop the experimentation that doctors do in the end stage of life — and prevent families from going bankrupt when there is no hope.
My mom was dying & the day before she passed, the doctors wanted to do a colostomy. Yet for five days she was too weak to undergo dialysis. We rejected that surgery for her; we knew her wishes because she never would have survived the surgery. A couple of the doctors became angry, and we though they might try to force the issue, but a third doctor agreed with us.
The next morning she underwent dialysis — it had to be done. She passed away two hours later. In the last hour of her life (and the doctor said she only had hours to live) she was taken to the far end of the hospital and left in a hallway for an hour. Eventually she was taken into the X-ray room. She didn't come out alive. Some death with dignity. But they had to have that last bit of money they could suck out of her.
When my father passed I made it to the ER. He was a DNR & I had medical power of attorney. I made the decision my dad had empowered me to make. It was the one final thing I could do for my dad — and I would do it again as hard as it was.
Let this woman die with dignity and without suffering
I’m in complete agreement with her. I’ve had several family members request a lethal dosage of morphine in pill form. At the time of their deaths they had family members by them. One relative had his last Orange Juice and Vodka with the pills. He relaxed, fell asleep and passed away after his goodbyes. Everyone deserves dignity. While some might call this cowardice, I think they are brave to take FULL responsibility for their own lives and spare loved ones the anguish of watching them waste away. Compassionate? By all counts for me, YES!
What an eerie article for me to read. After being told on Friday that I had a brain tumor, and not knowing a single fact until Monday, I was very unexpectedly diagnosed with a grade II astrocytoma. It was found as a complete accident. While I was not given a time frame for life expectancy because my doctor believes mine will be completely treatable, I have a small idea of what terror and agony this poor girl has faced and what her family has been dealing with.
I can guarantee you her decision was not made lightly at all, and no one knows the amount of suffering, pain and agony she has been dealing with. Who wants to hear at 29 that she has months to live? Would you want to live out your life not the person you are? Having control over yourself and your body when something else is ruining it is a very important feeling. I don’t know if I could do what she is choosing to do, and hopefully after mine is removed I won’t ever have to think about it. I certainly believe you should have the choice when facing something as devastating as this condition will be for her.
I have an illness that is incurable, virtually untreatable, and causes me to suffer almost daily. Although at times I’ve wished to die, I know that suicide says I am wiser than God, and that I no longer trust that he knows what's best for me. I do trust him, so I move forward every day. Also I had a friend with an incurable brain tumor, and she fought to live. In the end it took her life, but it also gave her five wonderful years where she never took a single day for granted. The point is, you don’t know what the future holds, and it's selfish to die just because you're scared to live. I pray for that woman’s family; they are the real victims here.