Killing Me Softly
Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman, discovers she has brain cancer. She looks back on her full life; traveling the world, teaching orphans overseas, climbing mountains, falling in love, and getting married. So young, but has experienced so much joy. Now, she looks ahead at the future. “Diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor, Maynard says she faces a debilitating, painful and certain death.” (Luscombe 1). Treatment for this aggressive dark matter can extend her life to a median survival of 14.6 months, 30% may live up to two years. After doing her research, she chooses to not spend the next year battling the inevitable outcome of death. She chooses to face “death with dignity.” Susan Trossman refers to Maynard in her text from American Nurse, “November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard took prescribed medication, ending her life.” (7) Did Brittany form the best decision considering the pain and struggle she will undergo while waiting for death to creep over her at an utmost vulnerable time? Seeing first hand what pain and suffering comes along with deathly illnesses, I believe it should be the patient choice if they possess an oriented state of mind.
“Physician-assisted suicide (PAS)involves a patient with the means(usually a prescription for a lethal dose of barbiturates),knowing that the patient intends to use it to commit suicide.” This is not to be confused with,“active euthanasia (AE), which occurs when a person, usually a nurse or physician, performs an act (such as administering a lethal injection)to end a patient 's
life.” (Ersek 48-49). These two transpire eminently different legally and ethically; PAS allows the patient to administer the medication by their choice and their capability, whi...
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...t exercise and start eating right, they will experience a heart attack and die, and the patient does nothing, is this not a form of slow suicide? People are slowly killing themselves sooner everyday by their decisions. If a patient with cancer decide to chose PAS, are they not just killing themselves sooner? Yes, I admit it is certainly quicker than eating a pound of bacon as you sit on the couch all day, but essentially it is the same in my point of view.
There will continue to be a debate over the moral and ethics of one 's self choosing to die or choosing to let a loved one go. Place yourself in the shoes of the ones making the choices. My quality of time with my family is far more important to me than the quantity. I have seen people tolerate treatments for cancer, having a peg tube placed, or being in a vegetative state. Once again Quality not Quantity.
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