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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


It's their life

A 29-year-old woman made national news with her decision to partake in medically assisted ?suicide.

After weighing all possible courses of action, Brittany Maynard decided that rather than attempting to treat her inoperable brain tumor, she will end her life through prescribed medication, known as dying with ?dignity.

The subject of doctor-assisted suicide is clearly controversial.

The practice of dying with dignity is only allowed in a few states .

Maynard herself was forced to move from her home state of California to Oregon in order to receive the medication that would make it possible for her to end her own life.

Although there are many gray areas, I believe dying with dignity is an option that should be made available in more states.

I’m fortunate enough to say I’ve never been diagnosed with a life-threatening sickness.

So if faced with the realization of death, I can’t say if dying with dignity is something I’d actually consider.

However, if I were looking at treatments that would leave second-degree burns on my bald scalp, cause me to lose motor functions and still die a slow and painful death, I would possibly find comfort in knowing that at some point I could control and stop the pain.

Providing terminally ill patients with the ability to die with dignity not only saves family members from watching a very painful and depressing demise, but also can save thousands of dollars of hospital care.

Patients that are faced with a terminal illness are usually left with the options to either die in hospice or to die in significant pain at home.

It doesn’t seem right to me that someone could be forced to either experience extreme discomfort and pain or leave behind thousands of dollars of medical bills that ultimately didn’t do anything.

In addition to this, the stigma associated with physician-assisted suicide isn’t accurate.

In fact, associating the word suicide with the action at all seems ?inappropriate.

I understand that it’s a person making a conscious decision and action to end their life, but there is a big difference between someone who is terminally ill and suffering and someone who is suicidal.

It isn’t that terminally ill patients are wanting to die because, on the contrary, I think they’d do anything to be cured if they could.

However, having the ability to end their own suffering doesn’t seem like something the law should dictate.

It’s their life, and if they meet the prerequisites to be administered the medication, then there shouldn’t be any reason, especially if it’s just the state of residence, that keeps a terminally ill ?person from relief.

Dying with dignity isn’t something I hope to be commonly practiced, but withholding relief for very sick people through a blanket law is wrong.

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