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Culture & Religion

With Brittany Maynard on the Cover of “People,” Americans Reconsider Right to Die

One woman’s decision to end her life has a large segment of Americans rethinking their stances on assisted suicide.

If you’re not familiar with the Brittany Maynard story, the editorial board at the Sacramento Bee does a good job summarizing the sorry plight of the 29-year-old newlywed diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor earlier this year. The Bay Area native, faced with a painful and inevitable death, recently moved to Oregon to take advantage of that state’s right to die laws, which allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication. According to multiple media outlets, Maynard plans on administering the lethal dose in the coming month.

The Bee editorial focuses mostly on how the reach of Maynard’s story (she was recently on the cover of People) has members of the American public reconsidering their stance on assisted suicide. Oregon is one of five states (the others being Vermont, Washington, Montana and New Mexico) that allow doctors to give patients the option to go out on their own terms. Similar measures in states like California have faced fierce opposition from groups such as the Catholic Church and the California Coalition Against Assisted Suicide.

But as the editorial wisely points out, Maynard’s situation is particularly affecting for millennials and other young people. She is a young, attractive twenty-something who has weeks to live. Her story shows that terminal conditions affect people of all ages. The Bee advocates for the right of people like Maynard to choose how they want to die. It’s likely that young people will echo that belief.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee

Photo credit: Marina Grau / Shutterstock


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