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

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less