We can always turn on our televisions and hear about a current controversy on all of our news channels. Near the end of 2014, we saw one story that was brought to attention to our whole country. Brittany Maynard created controversy on how sick patients should be able to choose their own death given their current situations. Moving to Oregon, Maynard would bring their Death With Dignity Act into her play, and be the face of their advocacy. Brittany Maynard was just 29 when she was first diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Monday October 5th the governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed the “Right to Die” bill. This bill would allow doctors in California to prescribe lethal amounts of medications to end a terminally ill patient’s life. Brown signed this controversial bill after explaining that he did this based on his personal decision “of want he would want if ever faced with his own death.” Governor Brown wrote in his letter to addressing state law makers that he “is certain that he would find comfort in being able to consider the options afford by this bill”(Botelho). But the Californians Against Assisted Suicide (CAAS) called this bill flawed saying that lawmakers should first consider how this bill could affect the disadvantaged people of America.
Public opinion polls showed increased support for physician assisted suicide. This was due in part to technological advances in medicine as well as a greater recognition of patient’s rights.” Twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard, utilized Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, took her own life in November 2014 following a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. “A Pew poll conducted after Ms. Maynard’s death, revealed that people viewed this as a heroic act. Also, revealed, the majority of Americans, most likely including physicians, now favor legalizing physician-assisted suicide for painful and incurable conditions: 68 percent in favor, 28 percent opposed.
Brittany Maynard chose to the “Death with Dignity” option after learning that she only had six months to live after her brain cancer became more aggressive and turned to a grade 4 glioblastoma. She moved from California to Oregon in order to legally receive a prescription of a lethal dose of barbiturates. Oregonis one of five states in the U.S that has the passed the Death with Dignity Act. Brittany chose this option because she did not want to go through radiation or live the last of her days in pain while her family watched. Brittany stated, “Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I m likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind, and my family would have to watch that,” (page 565).
This contentious theory contends that people should have the freedom to decide how and when to end their lives in situations where pain and suffering are unavoidable. Although there is much discussion about this concept and it creates ethical and moral issues, it emphasizes how crucial it is to provide people choices and support so they may control their end-of-life experiences. In the end, society must decide how to handle this delicate situation and make sure that everyone's rights and well-being are
On November 1, 2014, just shy of her 30th birthday, a young woman named Brittany Maynard, utilized Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act to end her life. She had been diagnosed with an aggressive, terminal cancer just eleven months earlier. After having brain surgery in an attempt to stop the growth of the tumor, the tumor came back and doctors only gave her six months to live. With no cure her only option was radiation that could leave her scalp with first-degree burns and her hair singed off. Brittany and her family decided that radiation was not worth the physical and emotional pain it would cause.
In both of these cases the Supreme Court gave sympathy to the terminally ill patients and claimed that the patient does have the right to refuse medical treatment. With the improving technology and medicine many states have started to take another look behind their stances on assisted suicide. So, because of the rising and improvements in medicine and technology, many states have started to investigate to see if physician-assisted suicide is appropriate under certain circumstances. All doctors have access to so many different kinds of
Diagnosed with brain cancer, Maynard decided to research her options to save or extend her life; she reached the conclusion that nothing can be done for her. “There is no treatment that would save my life, and the recommended treatments would have destroyed the time I had left.” Instead of living her last few months in pain, Brittany decided to move to Oregon to legally do receive the medication to die. People argued against her stance, one women with cancer herself asked her to reconsider, but Brittany was firm on where she stood. Brittany, at the age of 29, died in Oregon by lethal medication.
The Death with Dignity Act has two arguments: those who believe we have the right to choose how and when we die, and those who believe we do not possess that right; that we should not interfere with the natural order of life. Every year, people across America are diagnosed with a terminal illness. For some people there is time: time to hope for a cure, time to fight the disease, time to pray for a miracle. For others however, there is very little or no time. For these patients, their death is rapidly approaching and for the vast majority of them, it will be a slow and agonizing experience.
That is to say, why keep a person whose life is now full of suffering, with death right around the corner from being able to decide on a time of death if they choose to do so. The numbers from Oregon, since the implementation of “Death with Dignity,” reveals “752 patients have participated in physician-assisted death; 400 more people received prescriptions to end their lives but never took the medication.” Undoubtedly, the indication of these numbers is that patients are still in full control of their lives until the end, the sole authority in the most dire of circumstances. A reality advocates of PAS thinks critics are attempting to abolish. The aforementioned, Jack Kevorkian believed, “If you don 't have liberty and self-determination, you 've got nothing, . . . .
Some examples of a terminal illness include cancer, stroke, and ALS. Many people disagree with assisted suicide, but it is the better choice for those who do not what their disease to change who they are. The main arguments to allow this in our country is that the tremendous amount of pain and suffering of the patient will end, euthanasia, and health care costs will be reduced. Some people may choose to live their life with dignity and end their life in dignity, but assisted suicide would allow the choice to be their own. The pain a person can go through is a tremendous amount, especially those who are dying from a terminal illness.
Brittany Maynard has been fed up with the government making medical decisions for her and patients in the same situation as her. This is what was on her mind “How dare the government make decisions for terminally ill people like me. Unfortunately, California law prevented me from getting the end of life option I deserved. No one should have to leave their home and community for a gentle death.” She has set things right for terminally ill patients in California.
There are real case incidents in which a 14 year old girl suffering from terminal cystic fibrosis is asking her country’s president for permission to end her life. She had self shot a video in which she says “I am tired of living this disease and she can authorize an injection through which I can sleep forever”. The girl's video has sparked a broader conversation about whether euthanasia should be legalized in the largely Catholic nation. According to me we should let euthanasia be legal as there is no significance in keeping them alive against their wish as we don’t know how much they are suffering. Another incident is where the woman moved to Oregon where euthanasia is legal to take advantage of Oregon’s death with Dignity Law.