I came across a facebook share today that sent me into deep thought. It was the story of Brittany Maynard who early this year was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Brittany, after her second MRI was given 6 months to live.
After much thought, contemplation and with the support of those who love her most she has decided to make the most of what is left of her life – spending it friends and family and traveling to the places she has always wanted to see before dying with dignity on her own terms through the aid of a medically prescribed drug.
Here is her story in her own words….
After reading and watching Brittany’s story, I came across another link from another terminally ill woman, Kara Tippetts, who has made the opposite choice regarding her death and her letter to Brittany. You can read her letter here.
I have so much respect for both these women and the choices that they have made while faced with their own inevitable and imminent death. That being said, I was a little disappointed by something that Mrs. Tippetts wrote, and I quote
will you hear my heart ask you, beg you, plead with you — not to take that pill.
Her letter was written with love, caring and compassion but completely biased in her own belief system. Though I respect her faith, I don’t necessarily share it. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe in God. I just don’t believe in creationism or religion – that’s my own faith, my own belief and I would never attempt to tell anyone, including Mrs. Tippetts that I’m right, you’re wrong. After all, isn’t that faith or belief is? It’s not based in fact, it’s just something that your heart truly believes to be true.
Somewhere, along the lines of our humanity and through religious teachings we have forgotten what free will is. It is the freedom to make our own choices and to live with the consequences and yes, even the benefits of those choices. Choosing to end your own life shouldn’t be legislated but instead, contemplated carefully with those who it will affect. I believe Brittany has made her decision with not only herself in mind but with those who love her most. It’s apparent through her message that she consulted with those around her, including physicians, her parents and her husband. She should not be judged or tried to be persuaded otherwise, by anyone else…including lawyers, judges or Mrs. Tippetts.