Monday, November 3, 2014

Brittany Maynard

I don't watch a lot of television, but earlier this year I watched the entire Breaking Bad series in about three weeks.  What made the show so initially compelling for me was Walter White's decision to not undergo chemotherapy.  He wanted to die on his own terms.  (And he does, but I don't want to give away any spoilers.)

Understandably, his pregnant wife was upset with that choice.  Had Walt not succumbed to her wishes, Breaking Bad would have been an entirely different show.  Breaking Sad?

This past weekend Brittany Maynard chose to end her life.  She had a terminal diagnosis, she lived in Oregon (a state with Death with Dignity laws in place), and she didn't want to suffer.  To me, that sounds perfectly reasonable. For others, it sounds downright crazy.  Who is right?  Who knows?  I'm just grateful that this issue is finally getting national attention.  We are all going to die and many of us are going to be faced with these same questions. To treat or not to treat?  Quality vs. Quantity?

I know I can't change your mind with a Facebook post or an itty, bitty blog, but if you would like to know more about Death with Dignity, you can click on Brittany Maynard's name up there, or click here.  I also recommend watching the wonderful documentary How to Die in Oregon.  It's an excellent conversation starter.


  1. Hey Pam, I think that she was an SF Bay Area woman who moved to Oregon in order to end her own life on her terms. So that's pretty powerful right there.

    1. Yes, she specifically moved to Oregon so that she would have the option to end her life.

    2. I'm all for quality and so wish that we could be treated like we treat our beloved dogs and companion animals. Terminal suffering is so awful and what's the point of it.

    3. Yes, an animal (at least in my experience as a pet owner) is often times treated more compassionately at the end of their lives than humans.

  2. It's not so much the suffering brought on by the natural end-of-life process that frightens me. It's the artificially imposed suffering brought on by treatments that are known to be futile, but they feel I must undergo so they can say "we did all we could". No, I won't have it. I'll face it on my terms and in my time. Family and friends will just have to find a way to reconcile themselves to it. It's my life and I'll decide how it ends. Thanks for sharing this, Pam! As always, you're the greatest!


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