Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What People Care About This Week: Brittany Maynard

This week 29 year old Brittany Maynard decided to end her life through means of a medicine that is available through a doctor in the state of Oregon. She began speaking for patient rights after being diagnosed with a powerful form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, and given six months to live. She posted a farewell message on her Facebook page.

“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness... the world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers...goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

Oregon has something called the Death With Dignity Act. If someone is terminally ill and in the right state of mind they have the option to end their life. She had to move to Oregon just to have the opportunity to end her life this way. She knew what that form of cancer was gonna do to her and decided she didn't want that or to put her family and husband through that.

“I am not suicidal. I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms” she said in a blog post. On Wednesday she recorded a video message saying “If November 2nd comes along and I've passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I've made. If November 2nd comes along and I'm still alive, I know that we'll still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other, and that decision will come later.”

I agree with her decision to end her own life. I've been a silent supporter of those that want to end their own lives. I say silent because I don't end up in many conversations where assisted deaths are discussed. Who is anyone to try and force someone to stick around longer than they want? This isn't someone that wants to die because their boyfriend split up with them or wants to die because they were bullied. She has a cancer that was kicking her ass and mentioned that she noticed how bad she was getting with each passing week.

I have seen in some comment sections where she was called a quitter or how they were diagnosed with cancer and given a short amount of time to live and surpassed it. Good for you. I'm not being flippant. Good for you if you made it longer than you were given. But that's you. And not once did I see anyone that had her form of cancer talking. People brought up their heart issues, other cancers, or even depression. This is one of the problems with sharing your story. I can't relate to this woman on any level but others think they can and act as if she was quitting on life or giving up. No. To me she made the right decision.

If I had cancer of any kind that required the thousands upon thousands of dollars it costs to treat it I'm done. Goodbye, all of you. I have neither the desire nor the will to put myself and everyone that actually loves me through that. I call it “Old Elephant” style after hearing that when elephants are hurt or dying they just walk away to die. It could be a myth but I'm too busy writing this and listening to a new album to check. Rob Cantor's “Not A Trampoline” if you must know. Great album.

Besides the thousands of people online commenting the church had to get involved because the church. Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula who is the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life chimed in. His part of the church handles the ethical issues for the Catholic Church (not Chocoholic Church like my spell check wants me to say though that sounds sinfully delicious).

“We don't judge people, but the gesture in itself is to be condemned. Assisted suicide is an absurdity. Dignity is something different than putting an end to your own life. Killing yourself is not a good thing; it's a bad thing because it says no to life and to all that means in relation to our duty in the world and to those close to us.”

So let me get this straight. Brittany Maynard should choose to spend whatever time she has left on this planet wasting away while her family watches or getting treatment that will do nothing but possibly prolong her suffering at best or make her even worse? Yeah. That makes sense to no one. Everything he said is nonsense to me. His first statement is a lie and everything after the beautiful white noise of religion that only makes sense to people who question nothing they are told.

If someone wants to cash their chips that is on them. Let them deal with whatever spiritual ramifications that come with it if any. I say just make sure it isn't messy and that no one is left holding the check when you do your ultimate dine and dash into the afterlife. We live in a world that has become way contradictory in that we tell people to be individuals but when they are they are lambasted for it. It is very “Do what you want as long as what you want is what I want as well.”

I would hate to see one of my family members or friends forcing themselves to stick around rotting away because they thought that I would be upset if they wanted to go sooner than expected. As sad as it must be for her husband, family, and friends that she is gone at least they got to spend time with her that was as quality as it was going to get.

Click here for previous What People Care About This Week.

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