Brittany Maynard, at the age of twenty-nine, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Unable to receive lethal prescriptions in her home state of California, she moved to Oregon for her final days because it is one of a few states that currently allow physician assisted suicide (PAS).1 She shared her story via a recording advocating for the organization Compassion and Choices and an expansion of laws permitting PAS. It is hard to imagine anyone not being moved by her desire to avoid suffering and die peacefully in the presence of her loved ones. Lawmakers in almost half the states prepared to pursue PAS laws in the wake of this emotional outpouring for Maynard and people like her, and Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s PAS bill into law on September 11, 2015. She ingested her lethal prescription on November 1, 2014, in the presence of her family, and, consistent with Oregon law, her official cause of death is listed as a brain tumor.
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Articles related to this episode:
“Me Before You’s Strange View of Love and Weak Defense of Assisted Suicide”
“Very Quiet People: Ethical, Medical, and Theological Perspectives on Those in “Vegetative” and Other Hypokinetic States”
“Kevorkian: A Glimpse into the Future of Euthanasia?”
“Did Early Christians “Lust After Death”? A New Wrinkle in the Doctor-Assisted Suicide”