Woman Who Scheduled Day to Die Over Cancer Diagnosis Has Not Changed Mind Despite Pleas

Maynard

PORTLAND — A woman whose scheduled day to die is less than two weeks away does not appear to be changing her mind despite pleas from numerous concerned citizens across the country—including those who are fighting terminal diseases themselves.

“As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support [my family and friends] as they carry on my legacy,” 29-year-old Brittany Maynard wrote in a new message to followers. “Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child.”

As previously reported, Maynard announced earlier this month that she will end her life on November 1st unless she decides “to change [her] mind about taking the medication [to hasten her death].”

On New Year’s Day this year, Maynard was diagnosed with Astrocytoma and underwent brain surgery days later to help stop the cancerous tumor from growing. She was given ten years to live.

In April, Maynard learned that the cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, and was more aggressive than ever. She was advised that she instead had six months to live, and was informed about various treatment possibilities. She has already outlived her six-month prognosis.

Maynard explained in a recent op-ed for CNN said that she rejected the treatment options because they would impact her “quality of life,” and also decided not to pursue hospice care because she did not want her family to watch her suffer.

“Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind,” she wrote. “I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”

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Maynard outlined that she then began researching euthanasia, or as she called it, “death with dignity,” and concluded that it was her “best option.” However, because euthanasia is illegal in California, she and her husband moved to Oregon, which passed a law allowing the practice in 1997. Approximately 750 people have died under the legislation since its enactment.

The 29-year-old then obtained a prescription for a medication that would hasten her death. According to People Magazine, Maynard “will pull apart 100 capsules of the sedative secobarbital, dissolve them in water, drink it— and slip into a final, irreversible sleep.” She also decided to establish a fund that will go toward efforts to legalize euthanasia in other states, the “work” that she asked her friends and family to undertake in her new message on the Brittany Maynard Fund website.

But a number of those who have heard Maynard’s story, including those who are struggling with terminal illnesses themselves, have been seeking to reach out to the young woman and urge her not to take her death into her own hands.

Tippetts
Tippetts

“Brittany, I love you, and I’m sorry you are dying. I am sorry that we are both being asked to walk a road that feels simply impossible to walk,” 37-year-old wife and mother Kara Tippetts, whose breast cancer has metastasized throughout her body, wrote in a public letter recently. “[But] in your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you with the such tenderness, the opportunity of meeting you in your last moments and extending you love in your last breaths. … That last kiss, that last warm touch, that last breath, matters—but it was never intended for us to decide when that last breath is breathed.”

Laurie
Laurie

“Brittany, I ache for you and your family. I pray that your tumor will make a miraculous change for the better. And if that does not happen, I pray that whenever you pass away, you know the Lord,” also wrote 39-year-old wife and mother Heather Laurie, who suffers from mitochondrial disease. “I choose to die with dignity. The dignity of awaiting the Lord’s timing. When He calls, I shall with great joy join Him in Heaven and leave behind the pain and suffering this body had developed, but I will not allow one second to be shaved off of that life because I am scared.”

“Yes, I have to take lots of medications daily. I now take as much as 21 hours a day attached to an IV pole. An oxygen line is my new partner all day and night. I can no longer even eat via my mouth and yet I still continue. I hurt. I am nauseous. I am sick and weak,” she shared. “[But] there is so much that you can do even when leashed by an IV pole and needing to spend hours in bed or a power wheelchair. Life will find you where you are. And life is good!”

Tada
Tada

“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,” penned 65-year-old author and advocate for the disabled Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been paralyzed from the shoulders down since a teenager and who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. “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.”

“[Taking the fatal dosage] 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,” she continued. “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.”


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  • HardCorePress

    I have to admit I wouldn’t want to suffer horribly from a form of nasty brain cancer. Why is it so many people have a problem with suicide when it comes to people wanting to end their lives on their terms? Why do so many people think suffering horribly while some disease eats your body and your loved ones watch you die in agony is a good thing? Which one is more selfish? The cost of hospital care for someone with such a disease is so costly most families don’t recover financially! Yes life is good but God also said not to love this life. Looks to me like this gal doesn’t love this life. The main point here is whether or not this woman knows Christ before she dies.

    • Tim Ulricksen

      Because its about the jobs she creates while she is alive, they don’t care about her. Her suffering generates money and that’s the bottom line, I despise what we are doing to ourselves. This might be why cancer exists!

      • HardCorePress

        Yes Tim I agree with you! Cancer is a money maker and will never be ‘cured’ but drugs invented to combat it on every monetary level.

      • Boris

        First let me say, I too HAD cancer. You were purchased by the blood of Jesus at the cross. You don’t have the right to make that decision, you belong to Christ. Let Christ be the judge if you live or die. He Loves you more than you will ever know. If you had cancer Tim and faced the same death sentence I’m sure you would want to live. Please don’t give the impression you prefer death rather than have a research job created to help you live longer. Me and thousands of other survivors are here because God works miracles and maybe he has on in store for Brittany. I’m praying for you girl.

  • Greg O

    The Lord does not wish we should suffer, Im not terminally Ill and I very much believe in God, I watched my father wither away to nothing with cancer. It was very painful to watch, It was very draining on my will and my faith to see him suffer so day in and day out. If I should ever find myself in his shoes I do not want my children to have to go threw that. I would like the option to do something else before the only thing left is a morphine drip.

    • brianasher

      I take no issue with your personal choices, but where does the Lord say we will not suffer? I actually see quite the reverse, in the Bible…

      • Greg O

        I said the lord does not wish we should suffer, I did not say the lord said we will not suffer. Do you believe the Lord wants you to suffer through a painful death, That he desires this end for this woman. We have free will, We are loosed upon this earth and our will takes us were it will. The Lord will judge you on your life but he cant judge you for the decisions he makes for you so he makes none. Assistance,maybe, guidance,assuredly. Out right choices for you no. When you reach judgement it will be for your Life choices not his. So no I do not believe the lord wants this woman to suffer but she will and that’s because of adams first sin. But this life is but a blink of Gods eye, Our real life comes after, and that Life is in Gods realm and so I dont think Gods view of death is the same as ours, For God its moving you from there to here ,But from our physical perspective our death is the Abyss, with a hope of reaching heaven based on Faith. In my view if this woman is saved and chooses this option she will reach the same destination she would have reached if she had laid in a hospital bed blowing bubbles out her nose and defecating on herself in a complete morphine drip stupor totaly unaware of her surroundings until she gasped her last breath. With her family all waiting around her hoping her suffering will finally come to a end.

        • Zaira

          Greg,

          Above all things no matter what trials and pain and suffering come to us in this life, we are called to wait on the Lord, trust the Lord, and be faithful. It is not faithful to take your death into your own hands.

          If she is saved, yes, God will persevere her and she will be in heaven with Him but that does not change the fact that it grieves Him, deeply, when we make an idol out of our own control instead of trusting in Him.

  • Plcc07777

    For what it’s worth, I support this woman and wholeheartedly agree with her decision.
    May God bless her and her loved ones.

  • sstoltzfus

    Cancer is a horrible disease and all diseases cause suffering before you die. No one likes to watch someone you love die, I think that is why we avoid sickness at whatever cost. For the one who dies in Christ, death is a gift because you are immediately swept into eternal bliss where disease no longer exists, ever! But for those left behind, theirs is a difficult task – to pick up and carry on until it is their time! It is selfish to take those last moments away from those whose task it is to stay here! I know so many that have experienced life like never before as they held their loved one in those last moments before they went onto eternity. In your last breath, you give more to another and it is a gift you cannot plan. Don’t avoid your own suffering under the guise of helping another. Love them enough to take courage. The persecuted church can teach us much about the meaning of courage!

  • sandraleesucks

    This is a personal choice, her body, her life so her choice. Watching a loved one have their brain and essentially who they are consumed by disease is the most horrific human suffering for both the patient and the patient’s loved ones. A terrible decision for anyone to have to make, but I also see the courage, bravery and desire to be remembered as herself and not just a body that is lingering. I have no idea if I would make the same decision, but I would like to know I have the right to make the decision one way or another.