Tags: right to die | brittany maynard | death with dignity

'Right to Die' Backer Brittany Maynard Argues for Assisted Suicide in Video

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 07:23 AM

"Right to die" advocate Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who chose to end her life after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, appeared before California lawmakers this week in a video recorded 19 days before her death.

Doctors diagnosed Maynard with cancer last year, spurring her to move from California to Oregon to access the state's Death with Dignity law, according to People magazine. She ultimately ended her life on Nov.1 with drugs given to her by her doctor.

In the video, made for the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, Maynard advocates for assisted-suicide laws.

"The decision about how I end my dying process should be up to me and my family under a doctor's care," she says in the six-minute-plus clip. "How dare the government make decisions or limit options for terminally ill people like me."

Dr. Warren Fong, president of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, testified, though, that the bill could create a domino effect where the terminally ill could end up abandoned, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"We need to concentrate on making the right programs better," Fong testified before the California Senate Health Committee this week. "Do not mistake temporary popularity as wisdom . . . What the voters want is important, but it should be only one decision point."

Since 1992, California has tried and failed five times to pass assisted-suicide laws, according to the Chronicle. The newspaper reported that in Oregon, 859 people out of the 1,327 given prescriptions have died using lethal drugs since the law was passed in 1997.

Physicians wrote a record 155 prescriptions under the state's Death with Dignity law in 2014, according to Oregon's Public Health Division.

California Senate Bill 128 would allow a mentally competent, terminally ill adult California resident in the final stages of life to request aid-in-dying medication from a physician, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Despite its opposition from religious groups and doctors, similar bills are pending in 16 other states and Washington, D.C., the Times noted.



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"Right to die" advocate Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who chose to end her life after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, appeared before California lawmakers this week in a video recorded 19 days before her death.
right to die, brittany maynard, death with dignity
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2015-23-26
Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 07:23 AM
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