The right to die with dignity

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Over the weekend a terminally ill woman in Oregon went through with her decision to end her life with dignity.
Such a decision may sound taboo for most. Admittedly, it’s the kind of thing not to be taken lightly. For the healthy, there’s a lot to live for, no matter how bad life may seem in the present. Things typically have a way of getting better if your concerns revolve around a problem that time or a little hard work can fix.
With so many good people dying too soon, it’s hard to think anyone would want to check out early.
That is unless you are diagnosed with a terminal illness that will only lead to a life tied to machines while dealing with excruciating pain.
In the case of Brittany Maynard she was living with brain cancer, a terminal illness that made her life more difficult and would only result in living her last days unable to move and tied to machines.
Maynard’s illness caused her to suffer from seizures, severe pain and symptoms similar to a stroke. She was given six months to live after her diagnosis last year.
Only a few states like Oregon provide the option for people suffering from a terminal illness to die with dignity.
Maynard made the choice to move to the state in order to have access to that choice, through doctors who could prescribe her with medication that she would have to take voluntarily.
According to coverage of her story, the median age of the 750 people who elected to end their lives in Oregon is 71; less than six were younger than 35.
I believe people should have the right to choose to die with dignity if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. To live a life tied to a machine is not a life I would choose.

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