Bi Weekly Blasphemy 10: Life and Death with Dignity

Recorded last week but tying in nicely with the wonderful show we had on Sunday December 7th 2014 Deafilosophy ruminates. A few weeks have passed and Brittany Maynard has been given the peace and respect she deserves, I have decided to ask the big questions, embrace the thousand yard perspective, and if we really need the government to make laws on what should simply be the ultimate freedom over your life or death with dignity.

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Personal Thoughts on Brittany Maynard and Respect

Brittany Maynard’s Decision

Brittany Maynard chose to end her life by way of assisted suicide on Saturday November 1, 2014. This is a well-known story, a story I’m sure we’ve all heard about and probably had feelings on. So why am I writing about it now?

There are a few reasons why I felt the need to put my two cents worth in. This story touched me deeply. She was an incredibly strong woman, in my eyes. She chose to die with dignity rather than letting her illness take her, slowly and with great suffering. It should have stopped there. This story should have passed away with her and allowed her family their time to grieve and remember the person that she was. However, there were numerous comments posted by many Christians (and I’m sure other faiths) that said she was Damned, she was going to Hell, she was a coward.

This upset me a lot. Probably more than it should have. After all, I never met her. First off, most, if not all, of these commenters didn’t know her either. They took this moment in this woman’s life and death to spread their religion, of which they have zero proof. Zero. “How can you take your own life? God will damn you to Hell! God had a plan for you and you ruined it!”
This got me thinking. When would it be acceptable to do this in these Christians’ eyes? I thought to September 11, 2001, and watching, horrified and helpless, as people threw themselves from over 100 stories to their deaths. How many comments about those poor people? Any? As they were falling did these Christians yell out, “You’re going to Hell, ya know! God had a plan and you bailed.” I doubt it.
Continue reading “Personal Thoughts on Brittany Maynard and Respect”

An Open Letter To Brittany Maynard

Brittany Maynard, who is recently married, has terminal brain cancer. She was told she would have 10 years to live, but then the tumor grew significantly and her time became much shorter. She and her family made the choice to move to Oregon, where she is allowed to “die with dignity.” And no, this does not imply that everyone who does not choose this route is not “dying with dignity.” Its not one extreme or the other.”Dying with dignity” means that a person has the legal right to choose how to end their life when facing a terminal illness. And no, this does not mean that people are for suicide in general. Believe it or not, but there are more than two ways of looking at things. Life is not all black and white, in fact the majority of it is lived in the grey.

Dear Brittany,

 

Thank you. Thank you for using the little time that you have remaining to bring attention to the “death with dignity” debate. I can only imagine the kind of physical, mental and emotional stress that you are currently experiencing. My imagination is not the same, nor could it be even close to the real thing. When I read about your story yesterday, my heart began to fill with an ocean of sadness. It began to swirl with emotions and thoughts as I tried to comprehend the depth and gravity of the situation that you currently find yourself in. It’s a natural reaction, to view another’s situation from your own perspective. Empathy is how we connect to one another; it’s our deepest form of love and understanding. In the vast depth of human emotion, it can be easy for anyone to lose their way. The strong emotional current can swell around us and we become lost in ourselves, lost from the initial response of love that we naturally feel for one another.

 
Continue reading “An Open Letter To Brittany Maynard”