The recent heartbreaking story of Brittany Maynard brings full circle the topic of death with dignity. The strength of this 29 year old, married for but a year, and in the bloom of her life, pushes everyone to the heart of the questions: Is it permissible to sanction the choice of death? What would each of us do in this situation?
Is it permissible to sanction the choice of death?
Removing the Personal and Family Pain
The diagnosis for Brittany’s brain cancer is a devastating blow. The treatments that have been offered will bring agony for time left, while her young body prolongs the process. Choosing her own death would allow both herself and her husband and family to forgo the misery and distress.
Is the Choice Right?
Speaking with those that have had the experience of suicide, have crossed over and then returned is a culmination of absolute: taking your own life is universally wrong. But how can we, as enlightened beings, allow the anguish of such a long and painful process, that will ultimately end in death? Does compassion overrule the innate fight to live? In Brittany’s case, they have made the mutual decision to end her life, by her own choice, with dignity and honor. Allowing this as a method to say our good-bye races to the core of our being. It is too personal to judge.