Death with Dignity

deathI purposely did not want to post a picture of Brittany Maynard, either before or after her illness.  She stated several times in her videos that she no longer wanted to be photographed because of the weight gain from all the steroids she was on.  It was painful to her see the change in her body in less than a year.  Therefore, I will not post any pictures of videos of her.  You can all google it yourself, it’s all over the news.

I am not going to pontificate on her decision to die, and whether it was right or wrong.  For her, it was right, and at the right time.  That’s all that matters.

Many people were surprised to learn she did indeed choose to die on her original date of November 1st because a new video was posted a few days earlier that she had changed her mind and might push back the date.  However, I do believe I read somewhere that the video had been made a few weeks prior, and her condition had indeed worsened.  In fact the day after her final bucket list trip to the Grand Canyon, she had two very severe seizures.  She was scared.  So she stuck to her original date of November 1st.  I can’t believe how hard that must have been, to say goodbye to her husband, her family, her friends.  To actually take the meds, swallow them down, and then wait.  They say she went peacefully.  I’m glad.  Whew.  Big stuff.

I did read up on her condition.  None of the medical sites talk a lot about the quality of life issues, the pain, the debilitating aspect of the tumor.  They do point out that it is mostly fatal, and the average life span is not very long.  So I respect her decision to chose not to take chemo or do radiation.  She went for quality of life over quantity of life.  What’s a few more months of life, if it is spent in pain and suffering from side effects?

But.  As a Catholic I am troubled by the whole suicide aspect.  However, I really don’t believe that “Death with Dignity” is the same thing.  If God is all merciful, would he want us to suffer a horrible death?  But now I am veering into that whole religious debate, and I promised not go there.  Too many questions to ask and answer in that whole realm.

I just hope that when it is my turn, I can make a courageous decision, based on fact, and be at peace with it in my heart and soul.

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One thought on “Death with Dignity

  1. I’m with you, Death With Dignity. It’s heartening to see this, and related topics, discussed more and more. One day soon, I hope enough people will become educated enough about end-of-life/quality of life issues that it will become mainstream knowledge. Illness, aging, and death are as much a part of life as birth; in some ways even more so. It’s nothing new. We already have the knowledge of the ages and expertise of technology. We just need to take our heads out of the sand. When the medical and insurance industries finally catch up, we’ll have a transformed, compassionate society for the better of all.
    Thanks for a great topic!

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