Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dying with Dignity

Last Saturday a beautiful 29 year old woman in Oregon, took her own life. Her decision to take her own life has been in the news for the past few months. Yes... months. On New Years Day 29 year old Brittany was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given roughly 6 months to live. A young women full of life, a newlywed, was facing the end of her life.

After being diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma her health began to decline. She began to suffer from seizures. Brittany made a decision. In June she decided to move to Oregon. Why Oregon? Because Oregon has the Death with Dignity Act in place. A law that allows terminally ill patients to determine how they die.  Brittany knew when her illness became too unbearable to her and her family she wanted to option to die with dignity. She would use a lethal dosage of barbiturates prescribed by her physician.


She has spent the last few months traveling with her husband and family. Despite her illness Brittany has used this experience to become an advocate for end-of-life choices. She spent her last months fighting for the expansion of death with dignity laws. This is a very controversial topic. There are those who see this kind of death as suicide. While others feel that this gives those who are terminally ill the decision to die on their own terms. In a interview with People Magazine, Brittany said,

"They try to mix it up with suicide and that's really unfair, because there's not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying." 

As her illness progressed Brittany suffered the worst seizure in which she could not talk for a long while afterwards. She knew that her health was in rapid decline. Brittany announced that she had decided to end her life on November 1st. She died before the illness could kill her. She died with her family by her side with dignity and on her own terms.


1 comment:

  1. I feel this deep in my soul. Not because I have dealt with this. But because I see her happy smiling face. I remember the last interview. With sadness in her eyes. Imagining how terribly hard and horrific this decision must of been. She died with dignity. She died with love from around the world. As you are walking on the clouds now Brittany, may you be smiling that beautiful radiant smile.

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