At the age of 29, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that was going to wreak havoc with her body. Understanding the full picture of the impending and devastating effects of this tumor prompted Brittany to choose a way out of this realm that would release her in a dignified manner, and cause less stress for those who loved and cared for her. No one ever wants to make this decision, even though we all know that none of us are going to get out of here alive.
People around the world are especially sensitive to the process of death and dying. Many of us fear death because we cannot say with certainty what is on the other side.
Brittany Maynard confessed, “There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die.”
CNN shares the journey that Brittany Maynard underwent in her own words when a series of tests in early January revealed her terminal condition. Brittany Maynard was given only six months to live following brain surgery to try and remove the cancer.
Brittany explains that she carefully examined all options while knowing that each would certainly lead to a “dead end.” She rejected the idea of dying under hospice care in her San Francisco Bay-area home for the following reason.
“Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”
Brittany Maynard and her husband of one year, Dan Diaz, quickly uprooted and moved to Portland, Oregon, so Brittany could have a medically-assisted suicide. Oregon is one of five states where death with dignity is allowed by law.
Brittany Maynard chose November 1 as the day of reckoning — till death do us part. October 26 was her husband’s birthday, and she intended to celebrate her time left with her family surrounding her as though there is no tomorrow.
The Huffington Post raises the question “where does the debate end” about assisted suicide. Perhaps “suicide” is a harsh word to inject when the person in question wants to live her life to the hilt. Euthanasia — assisted suicide — is such a controversial subject that a lot of emotional fist-fights break out over it in the same way people clash about religion, politics, and abortion.
The Inquisitr reports that the Vatican condemned Brittany Maynard’s decision to end her own life with dignity, calling it a “reprehensible act.” Individuals who have faced this same situation have another opinion. On the other hand, no one disputes the kind and loving gesture of allowing our beloved pets to cross over and release them from suffering by means of euthanasia.
Regardless of the circumstances that would force someone to consider Brittany Maynard’s type of departure from the world — compassion, coupled with a loving intent — dictates that sometimes all we can do is show up with a tender heart.