Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity.  What exactly is that?  Is it fighting for life with all you have?  Is it facing the reality of a terminal illness and choosing to control the illness as opposed to the illness controlling you?  Is the dignity component directed towards the person facing death or towards their loved ones? Or perhaps it’s something else altogether.  I don’t know that death with dignity can truly be defined until we ourselves are faced with such a situation.  It is only then, at that moment, that we will know how dignity is defined for us.

Brittany Maynard, is at that moment.  She has been diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor and has been told that she will face a debilitating, painful, and certain death. She has been thinking of life and of death and defining for herself dignity.

“I can’t even tell you the amount of relief it provides me to know that I don’t have to die the way that’s been described to me that my brain tumor would take me,” Maynard said. “I will die upstairs in my bedroom that I share with my husband, with my mother and husband by my side… and pass peacefully,”

Brittany has moved to Oregon and under the Death with Dignity Act and has obtained a lethal dose of painkillers which she will use to end her life on November 1, 2014.  This is dignity for Brittany Maynard.

Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.