Oregon is one of five states, along with New Mexico, Montana, Washington , and Vermont, that allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act passed in 1997 and has allowed for 1,173 prescriptions, with 752 deaths resulting from access of the medication.
Now, a 29-year-old terminally ill patient plans to take the lethal pill on November 1st to end her own life. After suffering from severe headaches, Brittany Maynard found out she had stage II glioblastoma multiforme and had up to ten years to live. However, after she had surgery, doctors found out that she had the most deadly form of brain cancer, stage IV glioblastoma multiforme. The cancer usually kills its victims in a matter of months.
After her diagnosis, Brittany decided that she wanted to move from her California home to Oregon so that she could have access to the “death with dignity” prescription. She plans to die in her home surrounded by her mother, stepfather, husband and best friend.
“My glioblastoma is going to kill me, and that’s out of my control. I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.
My entire family has gone through a cycle of devastation. I’m an only child – this is going to make tears come to my eyes. For my mother, it’s really difficult, and for my husband as well, but they’ve all supported me because they’ve stood in hospital rooms and heard what would happen to me.”
Written by Sarah Zagorski
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