Tags: brittany maynard | mother | pope | vatican | end of life

Brittany Maynard's Mother Fires Back at Vatican Over End-of-Life Choice

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:01 AM

Brittany Maynard's mother Debbie Ziegler on Tuesday defended her terminally-ill daughter's decision to end her own life after Pope Francis and other Vatican officials criticized the choice, calling it "an absurdity" and "reprehensible."

"My 29-year-old daughter's choice to die gently rather than suffer physical and emotional degradation and intense pain does not deserve to be labeled as 'reprehensible' by strangers a continent away who do not know her or the particulars of her situation," Ziegler wrote in a letter released by Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organization.

Maynard's mother was referring specifically to comments made by Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, on November 3 — two days after Maynard ended her own life with a fatal dose of barbiturates prescribed by a doctor.

"This word was used publicly at a time when my family was tender and freshly wounded. Grieving. Such strong public criticism from people we do not know, have never met — is more than a slap in the face. It is like kicking us as we struggle to draw a breath. People and institutions that feel they have the right to judge Brittany's choices may wound me and cause me unspeakable pain but they do not deter me from supporting my daughter's choice," she continued in the letter.

According to The Associated Press, Pope Francis on Saturday also criticized the right-to-die movement, saying that taking one's life — under any circumstance — is a sin against God. He said euthanasia provides a "false sense of compassion."

Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico currently have right-to-die laws that allow certain persons with terminal illnesses to seek a doctor-assisted suicide. The New Jersey general assembly just last week also passed an "Aid in Dying" bill.

"I urge Americans to think for themselves," Ziegler wrote, concluding her letter.

"Make your wishes clear while you are competent. Make sure that you have all the options spelled out for you if you are diagnosed with an incurable, debilitating, painful disease. Do your own research. Ask your family to research and face the harsh reality with you. Ask your doctor to be brutally honest with you. Then make your personal choice about how you will proceed. It is YOUR choice."



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Brittany Maynard's mother Debbie Ziegler on Tuesday defended her terminally-ill daughter's decision to end her own life after Pope Francis and other Vatican officials criticized the choice, calling it "an absurdity" and "reprehensible."
brittany maynard, mother, pope, vatican, end of life
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2014-01-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:01 AM
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