Your Life is Yours

29 Oct

I am sure by now you’ve heard about a young woman named Brittany Maynard. Brittany has terminal brain cancer and she has decided to die on her terms, not cancer’s.

She is brave.

Brittany is well-traveled, she is educated, she is loved by her husband, mother, and friends.

When it was clear her prognosis was terminal, Brittany and her family moved from California to Oregon. Oregon is one of only six states in which a person with a terminal illness can end their own life on their own terms through a doctor prescribed prescription.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Brittany’s decision and I really don’t understand why. Genuinely, I don’t understand how someone feels they have the right to have an opinion on another’s life and death.

I am not a religious person, and quite frankly all arguments claiming “God says we will suffer,” and “Jesus doesn’t want you to end your own life,” are sickening at best.

Here is the thing about being an adult: you can do what you want with your life. Brittany is doing just that. She spent a few days last week at the Grand Canyon, an item on her bucket list.

Brittany is young, but she is wise and logical. She doesn’t want to spend her last days lingering in agony. She doesn’t want her family to watch her struggle to breathe or be writhe with pain. This makes perfect sense to me. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to end their own pain, on their terms? Why is this illegal in most of the states in our union?

Do not try to argue the “Do not harm” clause of the hippocratic oath. Doctors know when someone is suffering without need. Allowing someone to suffer endlessly with no relief is cruel and inhumane. We do not allow animals to carryon this way. We shouldn’t allow humans either.

Humans are conscious beings with free will and we should be allowed to exercise our will to its fullest extent when it comes to our own bodies.

Brittany is nothing but brave. It is beyond awful that she has even been put into this situation, but she has made the choice that is right for her. The rest of us can only love her and respect her choice on this journey. Choosing our departure, having control of that final moment is actually quite a beautiful and empowering prospect.

Brittany, you are brave, you are courageous, and you are so very loved. May you and your loved ones find peace.

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