I was listening to Episode #153 (New Science! & Death with Dignity) of Dogma Debate by David Smalley this past Wednesday. One focus of the episode was dying with dignity and he mentioned the documentary “How to Die in Oregon”. I’ve recently looked into the dying with dignity movement and am in full support. However, I had no idea how the law worked in Oregon. Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no Wifi access for the last few months, you’ve likely heard about the Brittany Maynard case. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and chose to end her life in her own controlled, peaceful way.
Maynard did not live in Oregon at the time of her diagnosis, but fortunately had the time and was able to move to Oregon to establish residency. She made her choice public, which led to many people calling her a coward. No. She’s no coward. Her choice to end her life with family around her was braver than any choice I’ve made in my life. I encourage all of you reading this, especially those against death with dignity to watch “How to Die in Oregon”. The documentary covers both sides of the issue and makes it very clear that people aren’t purchasing this medication to end their life simply to end their life right away. Even after purchasing the medication the decision is extremely tough. Most individuals purchase the medication simply to have an option should things get very bad. Many never take the medication. It is simply an option.
This is a very serious documentary and very emotional. It’s a very powerful documentary that will leave you crying, but most of all, thinking. The documentary is available for streaming on Netflix. For more on death with dignity, check out the Death with Dignity National Center website. I urge you not to make hasty conclusions without first studying the facts. The U.S. would be a much better place if all states had death with dignity laws. Hopefully, one day, they will.