Bioethics News

Brittany Maynard speaks from grave to California senators

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The leading assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion & Choices, has scored another public relations coup with the release of a third Brittany Maynard video. Nineteen days before she committed suicide on November 1, Brittany recorded a video demanding that California legislators endorse assisted suicide.

“The decision about how I end my dying process should be up to me and my family under a doctor’s care. How dare the government make decisions or limit options for terminally ill people like me.” 

After watching it this week, California’s Senate Health Committee approved an End-of-Life Option Act (SB 128) by a vote of 6 to 2. The bill will now be debated by the Senate.

Brittany was only 29 when she discovered that she had terminal brain cancer. Unable to access assisted suicide in her home state of California, she and her husband moved to Oregon where it is legal. In the final weeks of her life, Maynard cooperated with Compassion & Choices in launching a campaign for assisted suicide in California and nationwide. She was interviewed on CNN and in some major newspapers and magazines. With a professional PR team organised by C&C, she made two touching videos which have been seen millions of times around the globe.

“Making aid in dying a crime creates undue hardships and suffering for many people who are terminally ill and suffering tremendously,” Maynard said in the posthumous video, which was recorded on October 13 last year. “It limits our options and deprives us of our ability to control how much pain and agony we endure before we pass.”

She also declared that she was repelled by the idea terminal sedation, a method of euthanasia in which a comatose patient dies of starvation and dehydration.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.