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My Thoughts On The Brittney Maynard Story

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I think mostly everyone has seen this video that has around 5 million views now.  Brittney Maynard is a young 29 year-old woman, and she was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma, or a malignant brain tumor.  Back in April, she was given six months to live, and in October, it would be six months.  But in her opinion, she does not want to go through the pain and suffering this brain tumor would eventually cause.  So on November 1st, she plans to take a medication that will kill her.  Before I go further, watch the video below.

One thing about the life of Brittney Maynard is spot on.  In the video above, she encourages everyone to live a purposeful life.  And not miss out on the important things, and seize the day.  But, lots of people, especially here in the South, are wondering if there is a different path Brittney could take?  Earlier this year, Brittney was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  At first, the doctors said she would have 10 or more years to live.  If the tumor did not spread, I am sure I would not be talking about this story right now.

But, the tumor spread quickly.  She even had some surgeries to stop the growth of the tumor, but the efforts failed.  The tumor grew fast, and by April, doctors found out that the tumor was aggressive, and the doctors said she would need a full brain radiation.  This would leave her without no hair, and first degree burns on her scalp.  And the radiation would not ensure that the tumor would be gone.

After doing some research, Brittany and the family came to a conclusion.  That there is no treatment that would save her life, and she would decide to kill herself.  She thought about hospice care, but she did not want the family to go through the sadness and heartbreak while her mind is being eaten away and she is suffering in pain.  So, to prevent suffering through pain, she moved to Oregon, where they have the Death with Dignity Act, which allows doctors to prescribe medication to terminally-ill people who want to peacefully pass away.

Brittney plans to pass away on November 1st.  And it has opened up a debate about people who are suffering with terminally-ill diseases.  Stay alive and fight the disease, while going through tremendous pain and suffering, and you still might pass away.  Or pass away, before the disease makes the person suffer through non-stop pain?  Brittney is taking some medications now to manage the pain of her brain tumor.  And she has had some seizures.

So, if I was in the same boat as Brittany Maynard, and had a stage 4 glioblastoma, or a malignant brain tumor, would I try to fight it, or give up and kill myself?  If I could reach out and talk to Brittany, I would say this.  Girl, you are special.  Everyday, people are diagnosed with diseases such as cancer.  But medicine has advanced so much today that most people survive, and live a long and healthy life!  What you are doing is taking the easy way out, and deciding to leave this Earth, almost being like a coward.

Some people are comparing the Brittany Maynard situation as something similar as someone having to put down their pet because of a tumor or disease that can not be cured.  Sure, if I had to put down my favorite dog, cat, or other animal, I would be very sad.  I am a huge animal lover by the way.  But, human life is a greatly valued aspect of all life on planet Earth.  Humans built the computer, we went to the moon, and we have done many wonderful things to make our lives great today.

What if we told George Washington to give up and shoot his army dead?  What if we told Steve Jobs to not build that Apple computer, and to simply kill himself?  What if we told Neil Armstrong to not go to the moon, and simply point the space shuttle to the sun and kill himself?  What you are doing Brittany Maynard is simply not looking forward to what if the brain tumor was removed?  You are not thinking about what if the brain tumor can be managed?  You are simply taking the easy way out, and it’s wrong!

My younger brother was born with a brain tumor.  It was taken out and today my younger brother is living a healthy life.  Other people can live long and healthy lives after their brain tumor is removed.  If you take your own life Brittany, we will never know if they could shrink the brain tumor, and remove it.  You could also serve as a role-model to others having to suffer with cancer or brain tumors.  But who cares, you think passing away is a better option.

Brittany, I would fight, I would stay strong, I would keep the will to live.  Instead, you think leaving Earth would make you better, instead it will make you worse.  And if Heaven and Hell is for real, I think I know where you will be ending up.

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