Imagine being told you have cancer.
Imagine being told you have the most lethal form of brain cancer.
This is what Brittany Maynard was told this spring. She is a twenty-nine year old, newly married women from California. Recently, she moved to Oregon with her family. Why Oregon? Oregon is one of five states that allow legal protections, called the Death with Dignity Act, for terminally ill patients who want to die, instead of suffer from their illness. She plans to pass away peacefully in her room on Nov. 1, with her mom, stepdad, husband, and best friend surrounding her.
“I don’t want to die,” she told CBS News. “If anyone wants to hand me, like, a magical cure and save my life so that I can have children with my husband, you know, I will take them up on it.”
Nov. 1 to some people may seem a little odd of a date to choose to some people. To Brittany, it’s a goal.
“November 1 became kind of — a date for me to almost, like, make it to,” Brittany continued to CBS News. “That’s a huge misconception, and I feel like people who are against this healthcare choice have tried to make it into a deadline. And I may be alive on November 2, or I may not. And that’s my choice.”
It’s also six days after her husband’s birthday, coming up on Oct. 26.
Some people do not agree with the Death with Dignity Act, though. In a poll done by the New England Journal of Medicine last year, 1,712 medical exports were surveyed, and sixty-seven percent did not agree with the Act. Most of them had moral and religious reasons to oppose it, and others also stated the worry that depressed patients would try and receive the treatment-which is understandable.
If you were to know and see someone who has gone through cancer treatment, you know that yes, they should fight and they should try and live. But, God, is cancer a rough, grueling illness that is so painful and exhausting. For some patients, it is almost immoral to have them keep on fighting and suffering. And, this Act is obviously not pressured onto anyone, it is by choice. If a terminally ill patient does not want to suffer anymore, let them put themselves out of misery. I know, it is difficult and sad, but at least the person is at peace and their loved ones do not have to watch them suffer any longer.
In an Op-Ed to CNN, Brittany wrote, “After months of research, my family and I reached a heartbreaking conclusion. There is no treatment that would save my life, and the recommended treatments would have destroyed the time I had left.”