I am pretty confident that you all know about Brittany Maynard, the remarkable 29 year old woman who was diagnosed last spring with a brain tumor that was certain to be fatal. She chose to move, with her husband and mother, from California to Oregon in order to take advantage of their Death with Dignity law.
I have not been writing about her because this blog is not supposed to be about politics or morality or religious beliefs. It is supposed to be about living with cancer, and that is what she was doing until, by her own hand at her own chosen time, she wasn't. I think that virtually everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer has had at least a fleeting thought about the possibility of suicide. Most of us won't do it; most of us do not live in states where it is legal (you may recall that a ballot question in Massachusetts was defeated two years ago), and most doctors cannot support the wish.
I don't want to say much more about this except that I have immense respect for her courage and gratitude for her decision to be so public about her situation. The fact that she was young, beautiful, and newly married gave a new face to this issue. For the first time, many young people are thinking about, realizing that none of us is immune to death, and, hopefully, our shared convictions wiill move us forward.
Here is a short excerpt and then a link to the Huff Post. I chose this one because the story includes her videos. If you are interested in reading more, just put her name in your search engine; there is a lot to read and to learn.
Brittany Maynard, the Oregon woman who had become an outspoken advocate for patients' rights following her terminal cancer diagnosis, died on Saturday, the Oregonian reported. She was 29.
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love," she wrote in a Facebook post, according to People. "Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness... the world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers... goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!"
Earlier this year, Maynard learned that she was suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma and had only six months to live. After hearing what the disease would to her body in its final stages, she decided that she wanted to die on her own terms.