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Post by Kaere on Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:39 am

A controversial subject, to be sure, and certainly not the first time a story like this has been in the news. This one may perhaps have more impact as she is quite young.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/terminally-ill-29-year-old-woman-plans-to-take-her-own-life-on-nov-1-1.2045624

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Brittany Maynard will not live to see if her advocacy makes a difference.

The 29-year-old woman expects to die no later than Nov. 1. If the brain cancer from which she suffers does not kill her in October, she plans to take advantage of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act and end her own life on the first of November -- a few days after her husband's 30th birthday.

Maynard and her husband, Dan Diaz, uprooted from California and moved north because Oregon allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with lethal medications prescribed by a doctor.

Rather than silently await death, she has become an advocate for the group Compassion & Choices, which seeks to expand death-with-dignity laws beyond Oregon and a handful of other states.

A nationwide media campaign featuring Maynard's story began Monday, and has gone viral.

"I can't even tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don't have to die the way that it's been described to me, that my brain tumour would take me on its own," she says in an online video.

Oregon in 1997 became the first U.S. state to make it legal for a doctor to prescribe a life-ending drug to a terminally ill patient of sound mind who makes the request. The patient must swallow the drug without help; it is illegal for a doctor to administer it.

More than 750 people in Oregon used the law to die as of Dec. 31, 2013. The median age of the deceased is 71. Only six were younger than 34, like Maynard.

The state does not track how many terminally ill people move to Oregon to die. One of the "frequently asked questions" on the state Public Health Division website is: "How long does someone have to be a resident of Oregon to participate in the act?"

There is no minimum residency requirement, but a patient must prove to a doctor they are living in the state. Some examples of documentation include a rental agreement, an Oregon voter registration card or a state driver's license.

Maynard said she and her husband were newlyweds actively trying for a family when she learned on New Year's Day that she had brain cancer. By spring, she was given just six months to live.

"I hope to enjoy however many days I have on this beautiful earth and spend as much of it outside as I can surrounded by those I love," Maynard said in the video.

Barbara Coombs Lee, the author of Oregon's law and the president of Compassion & Choices, said Maynard approached the group in August.

"Our campaign now is to build public awareness, build public support so great that the politicians can no longer deny it," she said.

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Post by Stirky on Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:44 am

It is controversial as could be used the wrong way by relatives etc. BUT if somebody is suffering from a terminal or chronic illness, and they have decided for THEMSELVES that they wish to end their life, they should be allowed to do that. We wouldn't allow an animal to suffer in the same way, so why do humans have to? Every case should be looked into individually though, as the whole subject does tread on shaky ground.
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Post by Rockhopper on Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:43 pm

Hear hear Stirks. I agree.

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Post by Kaere on Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:56 pm

I do agree as well.

The thing that's always been in the back of my mind regarding this is... well, who gets to decide what's a bad enough illness? Yes, physically one can easily say it's something terminal or chronic, but would emotional or mental issues ever be considered? They can also cause suffering. There are tricky bits to it all.
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Post by Rockhopper on Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:24 pm

Yes Ka. It is a very complex issue and if some-one is in a sound mind and suffering terribly, they should have the right to go.

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Post by Stirky on Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:31 pm

Yes good point Kaere, but I think mental health issues would never be considered because mental health issues can cause suicidal thoughts, so this would be an easy way out. People with mental health issues need other help, not this. But like I said the whole subject is on such shaky ground, I don't think they will ever change the law on it here.
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Post by Agartha on Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:55 pm

I agree with Kaere's point as not long ago a British couple decided to both die at a clinic in Europe; they were both in their 80s and both still healthy, but they wanted to die whilst they still had their cognitive capacity intact and were not a burden to their kids.

I disagree with them.
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Post by Stirky on Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:59 pm

Yes that does seem a bit much, I'm sure there kids wouldn't have thought the same way, them being a burden. But knowing some people, maybe they did???

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Post by Agartha on Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:03 pm

I don't know, hun........ but no matter how their kids are or think, I still disagree. If you are sooo lucky as to have been given a healthy long life, just be grateful... and also, what kind of example are they giving their grandchildren???
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Post by Stirky on Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:04 pm

I know, not good, different if a person is suffering and in pain, with no hope of getting better. But to want to end your life when you are healthy, that's not right.
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Post by Stargate on Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:22 am

@Agartha wrote:I don't know, hun........ but no matter how their kids are or think, I still disagree. If you are sooo lucky as to have been given a healthy long life, just be grateful... and also, what kind of example are they giving their grandchildren???

Ag, I think life is equal and balanced, it does not owe, nor does it borrow. It is the same to the smallest as it is to largest. We owe no one an explanation for what we perceive life to be, or not to be. When we are unable to fend for ourselves our parents willingly take up that responsibility and nuture us to a stage where they identify our capabilities and directs us on our way. At that point we are responsible beings. We make our own decisions and take the responsibility that was given to us by our parents. We make our own choices to live or to die, laws can hinder no one to live if they chose to die. If a parent chose to take the life of the child they made,they can be punished but not stopped. There are natural laws and universal ones. I think people should make their own choices and owe no one an explanation in terms of living and dying.

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Post by Agartha on Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:30 am

I'm sorry, Star but I disagree: we owe it to our kids, we owe them an explanation. We can't just kill ourselves without thinking of the emotional consequences to our children, no matter how old they are. If you love your children, you don't do things to hurt them, on the contrary, you take it all in with a smile on your face.... just to make them happy cause the day we become parents they are the priority, not us.
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Post by Stargate on Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:38 pm

@Agartha wrote:I'm sorry, Star but I disagree: we owe it to our kids, we owe them an explanation. We can't just kill ourselves without thinking of the emotional consequences to our children, no matter how old they are. If you love your children, you don't do things to hurt them, on the contrary, you take it all in with a smile on your face.... just to make them happy cause the day we become parents they are the priority, not us.

Ag, that is exactly what I mean, we make our choices and take responsibility but no one but ourselves can make these choices. In one sense we are our children and our children are us.I think it depends on what law we are using to make certain statements, mans law or universal law. On the other side your interpretation is valed and important to life

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