On New Year's Eve, 29 year old Britanny Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer. Soon after she learned it was terminal, and she would only have a few months to live. Not wanting her fiancé and family to see her in pain for her final months, Brittany, as well as her family and fiancé decided to move to Oregon which is one of the only states that has legalized the Dying with Dignity Act and plans to take the prescription on November 1st, 2014 surrounded by her loved ones. This Act is highly controversial and each side presents a compelling argument and raises many questions concerning the difference between suicide and the right to die on one's own terms. Britanny addresses this choice saying, "All that I and people like me ask is that we be allowed to exert what little control we still have over our destinies, by choosing a death with dignity. Who has the right to tell me I don't deserve this choice?" .
Everyone should have the ability to control their life, so therefore they should also have the right to control their death. Death with dignity is a way for people who know they will die a way to do it on their terms, however they see fit.
The Death with Dignity Act was passed in the state of Oregon in 1997. One of only five states that have passed this bill, Death with Dignity allows "mentally competent, terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to end their lives with self-administered medication prescribed by a doctor". Patients who receive this prescription have to be deemed terminally ill by two different doctors and go under a myriad of tests and therapy to ensure they are not suicidal or depressed. These precautions are put in place to protect depressed patients from themselves or to protect patients from malpractice, as this drug is more inexpensive than extended treatment. From the time this bill was put in place only 1,173 patients have been written prescriptions, out of which 752 patients have taken the deadly drug.