At age twenty-nine, Brittany had been diagnosed with a stage four malignant brain tumor which then classified her as a terminally ill patient. Suffering from daily symptoms everyday became worse. Some of these symptoms would include seizures, head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms. Brittany soon became an advocate for death-with-dignity laws and spent her days advocating, especially those days that were her final ones. This is the reason why Physician-assisted suicide is an option.
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. After considerable research she decided to relocate from California to Oregon one of five states where there is a Death with Dignity Act (Maynard).
• Death with Dignity Act - Oregon Health Authority states that, “ Oregon passed a law that allows terminally ill residents to end their lives through voluntary assisted suicide of lethal medication, directly prescribed by a physician.” - To be granted the ability for assisted suicide, the individual has to be suffering from a terminal disease and have a doctor that has confirmed that they only have 6 months or less left to live. - The Death with Dignity National Center says that, “By adding a voluntary option to the continuum of end-of-life care, these laws give patients dignity, control, and peace of mind during their final days with family and loved ones.” • Examples of some of the terminal illnesses that should be allowed for assisted
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.
American political leader Anna Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” There are some people that live their lives happily everyday while there are some that are living in bitterness. Life is a cycle that everyone experiences from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and finally ends with death. Some may believe that maybe if a human being is no longer content with life anymore, then he or she might as well no longer be alive. The issue of euthanasia has been one of the most discussed ethical situations among healthcare workers and patients. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is described as “the act of practice
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. However, there is hope of a peaceful death for these patients that exists in a controversial law being considered by many states throughout the country. It is known as the Death with Dignity Act. This law gives terminally ill patients the option of ending their own life in a painless manner at a time and place of their choosing by
“In the 20 years that Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law has been on the books, 1,749 patients have been prescribed lethal medications, and only 64% of them (1,127) used them to die, according to state data. Last year, Oregon doctors prescribed 206 lethal medications, 133 of which were reported used by patients” (Portland Press Herald). This statistic shows that not all patients who are prescribed the drugs, use them to end their life. Gale states, “The three most frequently cites reasons for requesting suicide were: a decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, loss of autonomy and loss of dignity. Eva Thompson, a 57 year-old Camden, Maine resident with stage 4 colon cancer, who is in favor of physician assisted
Death with Dignity is an organization whose mission is to “promote Death with Dignity laws based on the model Oregon Death with Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in the end-of-life career.” (“Home-Death”) Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s practices had a lasting impact on assisted suicide laws, still affecting us today. (“Assisted Suicide”) However, with new modern techniques, suicide should be discouraged, causing suicide and unnatural death rates to drastically decrease because “killing for WHATEVER reason CANNOT be
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.
In this case, and many others worldwide, physician assisted suicide is morally permissible at all ages for anyone with a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months. This is supported by act based utilitarianism and the idea of maximizing pleasure and reducing pain and suffering on an individual circumstance. By allowing a terminal patient to die a less painful death, in control of the situation, and with dignity, the patient will have amplified
Maynard explains her struggles dealing with a terminal disease herself and how the Death with Dignity Act allowed her and her family pain. She hopes to persuade America to take action in legalizing the Death with Dignity Act, so everyone can die with dignity in their own terms. Maynard uses her personal experience to appeal to the general audience, specifically California, to join her protest against the illegalized law, Death with
Federal Advanced Directive Advanced directives became a national topic of discussion following the passage of the 1976 California Natural Death Act otherwise known as the Natural Death Law, Death with Dignity Acts, or Living Will Acts. California passed the law in 1976 after a 31 year old woman, Karen Ann Quinlan, slipped into a coma, was hooked up to life support equipment and her parent’s request “that the respirator be disconnected and that their daughter be allowed to die 'with grace and dignity, ' because there was no hope she would recover” (McFaden, R., 1985). Quinlan was connected to a respirator for a year while her parents argued for her rights, the law went into effect in 1977. The law confirmed the rights of the terminally
With most websites that have a definition for the right to die, there are a few that don’t have a definition. It is still a relatively new and there is a right to die moment that allows terminally ill patients to take their life. This particular organization called Hemock Society which mission is to also have laws for physicians-assisted suicide. As of April 24, 2017 there are only six states that allow the death with dignity. The first state to legalize physicians-assisted suicide is Oregon and the second is
In order for a patient to receive the prescription for medication, a physician must declare the patient to be terminally ill, which means they have an incurable and irreversible illness, and they must have no more than six months to live. Also, a second doctor must agree with the first doctor. In addition, the terminally ill patient has to be mentally competent and able to administer the medication themself (“Threat” A12). These rules act as safeguards to ensure that the patient requesting aid in dying is making an informed decision and is acting voluntarily (Gopal