Christy O’Donnell wants to die on her own terms.
The terminally-ill single mom is both a conservative and a Christian, and says she wants to end her life. O’Donnell, a former LAPD sergeant and trial attorney, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that has now spread to her brain, liver, left rib, and L1 vertebrae.
“I’ve reconciled my own religious beliefs with this decision,” O’Donnell, 46, told Katie Couric in an interview with Yahoo News,People Magazine reports. “My walk with God, it doesn’t conflict with my desire to die peacefully, to take away physical pain.”
— Compassion & Choices (@CompAndChoices) July 1, 2015
She adds: “And I don’t believe, at least in my particular religion or others, that this type of pain serves a purpose.”
Christy is currently undergoing intense weekly rounds of chemotherapy, and she recently found out that the treatment is preventing the cancer from spreading to other parts of her body. However, because the chemo is causing neuropathy in her feet and swelling in her legs, she will only be able to receive the treatment for “a little while” longer.
“I probably should have asked him what ‘a little’ meant, but I honestly don’t want to know,” she said. “It’s a mixed bag. I was elated [at first], then my bubble burst a little.”
Sadly, there are no other treatments available for Christy’s form of cancer, and because doctors have told her that she will die a slow, painful death by drowning in her own fluids, she is requesting that she be granted the right to die.
— Compassion & Choices (@CompAndChoices) June 2, 2015
Christy and her daughter Bailey Donorovich, 21, live in California, and she doesn’t want to uproot her from her home to move to Oregon where “Death with Dignity” is legal. She filed a lawsuit with Compassion & Choices, asking the California courts to grant her her wish to die with the help of medications from her doctor. A California judge has ordered an expedited review of her suit, which is set to take place on July 24 in San Diego.
One of Christy’s biggest fears was missing out on Bailey’s 21st birthday. Thankfully, she lived to see it, and the two took to the Bahamas to celebrate.
“Always in the back of your mind is the very present thought that pretty much was our last vacation together,” O’Donnell said, according to ABC 11 News.
At the time of her diagnosis, Christy wrote Bailey a birthday card for her to open, with or without her.
“In that moment, watching her open that gift, I think for me, that was the most touching moment, as a mom, because I really didn’t think I would get to make it,” O’Donnell said.
The pair then shared Bailey’s first legal drink to celebrate the moment.
“We got to be on the beach together, where she took her first drink. Her first legal drink,” O’Donnell said.
— Compassion & Choices (@CompAndChoices) June 4, 2015
While at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, they got to swim with dolphins and float down the lazy river.
“We were just hugging and she looked at me and she said, ‘Oh mom, I just don’t want to leave!’ Its exactly how I felt. For one week, we got to be away from reality, we didn’t have to talk about cancer,” she said.
Do you think Christy O’Donnell should be allowed to die on her own terms? Leave your comments below.
[Photo via YouTube screenshot]