Death with Dignity Act needed

October 23, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with a terminal brain tumor, announced that on Nov. 1 she will take her own life.

Suffering from a Glioblastoma brain tumor, she said the physician-assisted suicide will spare her from excruciating pain.

In an interview with People magazine, she said “There isn’t a cell in my body that is suicidal or wants to die. I wish there was a cure for my disease, but there’s not.”

As of now only five states (New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Montana) have the Death with Dignity Act.

Maynard had to move from San Francisco, to Portland, Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.

The difference between physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia is that during physician-assisted suicide patients can take the medication supplied by the physician to end their life whenever they want.

In Oregon, the Death with Dignity Act allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.

This is an issue that needs to be brought up and given more attention all across the nation.

While some will disagree with Maynard’s decision, all should consider the positive aspects.

Those diagnosed with stage four terminal cancer know they will not survive.

While most people with terminal cancer want to spend every last minute with their friends and family, some would prefer to die sooner to avoid tremendous pain and anguish. And unless they move to one of the five states previously mentioned, they’ll have to wait until the cancer takes their life.

The media coverage surrounding Maynard has revealed that many people support her decision to go through with the assisted suicide.

In Los Angeles, Dr. Laura Mosqueda said she has had many patients ask for help to end their lives.

“What I’ve said to them is: ‘I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you’re not suffering, but it is illegal for me to do this, so I’m not going to.’ I’m really clear with them,” Mosqueda said in a recent NBC News article.

She added, “If euthanasia was allowed where I work, I would be willing to participate in assisting people. But’s it’s not, so I don’t.”

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in Oklahoma but in a matter of years it could be allowed for those who are terminally ill.

In a recent video by Compassionandchoices.org, Maynard said, “My journey is easier because of this choice.”

Everyone suffering from a terminal illness deserves the choice to end his or her life — because it’s their pain and their life. For more information about Maynard and physician-assisted suicide, visit compassionandchoices.org.

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