Oregon suicide woman ‘ignored God’
In an ideal world we should have absolute freedom to choose when and how to die in dignified manner if we have a compelling reason to do so.
Unfortunately, there are far too few places where euthanasia is legal. But Oregon is an an exception, and it was to this state that Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with incurable brain cancer, moved recently from California to take lethal drugs made available under a state law that allows terminally ill people to end their lives.
Maynard, according to this report, had been in the national spotlight for about a month in the US since publicising that she and her husband, Dan Diaz, had moved to Portland from northern California. She told journalists she planned to die on November 1, shortly after her husband’s birthday, but reserved the right to move the date forward or push it back.
Maynard told the Associated Press in an October 8 interview that her husband and other relatives accepted her decision.
I think in the beginning my family members wanted a miracle; they wanted a cure for my cance. When we all sat down and looked at the facts, there isn’t a single person that loves me that wishes me more pain and more suffering.
Sean Crowley, a spokesman for the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, said:
She died [on Saturday] as she intended – peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones.
Crowley added that Maynard:
Suffered increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms. As symptoms grew more severe, she chose to abbreviate the dying process by taking the aid-in-dying medication she had received months ago.
The issue of physician-assisted dying is not new, but Maynard’s youth and vitality before she became ill brought the discussion to a younger generation.
Working with Compassion & Choices, Maynard used her story to speak out for the right of terminally ill people like herself to end their lives on their own terms.
Cue the anti-choice, inhumane religious brigade.
Janet Morana, Executive Director of the group Priests for Life declared:
We are saddened by the fact that this young woman gave up hope, and now our concern is for other people with terminal illnesses who may contemplate following her example. Our prayer is that these people will find the courage to live every day to the fullest until God calls them home. Brittany’s death was not a victory for a political cause. It was a tragedy, hastened by despair and aided by the culture of death invading our country.
Shortly before Maynard’s death, Joni Eareckson Tada, a disabled Christian writing for the Religious News Service, said:
The saddest part of the story for me, however, is not her prognosis, but her decision to end her life prematurely on Nov. 1 through physician-assisted suicide.
I understand she may be in great pain, and her treatment options are limited and have their own devastating side effects, but I believe Brittany is missing a critical factor in her formula for death: God. The journey Brittany – for that matter, all of us – will undertake on the other side of death is the most important venture on which we will ever embark. So it must not be disregarded or brushed aside without thinking twice about the God who alone has the right to decide when life should begin and end.
Unfortunately, three countries and five states have now determined that individuals can make these choices for themselves. This is what happens when God is removed: The moral consensus that has guided that society begins to unravel. People in this country have bought into the premise that one really is better off dead than disabled.
Most nauseating of all was this nonsensical threat of a hellish, godless, lifeless afterlife:
If I could spend a few moments with Brittany before she swallows that prescription she has already filled, I would tell her how I have felt the love of Jesus strengthen and comfort me through my own cancer, chronic pain and quadriplegia. I would tell her that the saddest thing of all would be for her to wake up on the other side of her tombstone only to face a grim, joyless existence not only without life, but without God.
Brittany may think her choice is a highly personal and private one, but it is not. Already, her decision has reignited hotly contested debates as to whether physician-assisted suicide should be expanded beyond the five states where it is legal. Proponents of Brittany’s decision are already using her story as a bully pulpit to advance their so-called death-with-dignity agendas.
Only Jesus was able to transform the landscape of life-after-death by conquering the grave and opening the path to eternal life. Three grams of phenobarbital will provide only a temporary reprieve and will only more quickly usher in an eternity separated from God, which would be ultimate and pointless suffering.
Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of the human experience, and I implore Brittany and others considering her example to take a long, hard look at the consequences of a decision that is so fatal, and worst of all, so final.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake