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In the wake of Brittany Maynard's death - there's been a flurry of emotions from cancer patients (and the Vatican…)

by , 10 November 2014

Almost a week after the death of 29 year old Brittany Maynard - who opted for physician-assisted suicide after living with terminal brain cancer for 11 months - there's a flurry of emotion and people speaking out about her decision.

While some of them envy her courage and want to do the same, others say they'll be fighting until their last breath.

And because of the news surrounding the story, the Vatican has spoken out about it too…

Read on to find out what's been in the news since the young woman's death.

51-year-old Jennifer Glass wants to do the same as Brittany Maynard

 
Jennifer lives in California, one of the states in American where physician-assisted suicide is illegal. But she’s hoping the laws will change in the next few years.
 
Brittany, who also originally lived in California, moved to Oregon because the “dying with dignity” option is available to terminally ill patients there. But moving isn’t an option for Jennifer. She says she wants to be at home and it would be devastating to move.
 
And while the 51 year old says her lung cancer diagnosis hasn’t stopped her from living her life, if she had the option to die with dignity, she’d take it. She wants to be in control of how she dies. Not simply leave it up to her illness.
 
But others don’t share the same view.
 
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Maggie Karner says she’ll squeeze every ounce of life out while she still can

 
Maggie has the same type of brain cancer Brittany had. She says her life almost stopped when she received the diagnosis, but she had to continue living.
 
And she now sees her “journey” as something that’s made her a deeper, richer person. She’s more compassionate to other people and appreciates the little things in life a lot more than she did.
 
She’s also enjoyed the unwavering love of her family and friends who surround her every day. And, if for nothing else, she wants to hold onto that.
 
But while she’s ok with what’s happening to her – the good and the bad – she’s concerned about society in terms of decisions to die. The option to simply “tap out” when something bad happens means you don’t even have to try work through it, she says. And she questions whether a decision to live through the diagnosis is viewed less dignified than making the choice to die with dignity.
 
22-year-old Noah Gilday agrees. He even told lifenews.com he thinks Brittany may have given up too early.
 
He too has a golf-ball sized tumour in his brain. But he’s “fighting to the last breath and that’s all there is about it.”
 
A Vatican spokesperson has a few more choice words in the matter…
 
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The Vatican calls Brittany’s choice to die “absurdity”

 
Father Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Vatican body responsible for ethics, told the Daily Telegraph they don’t judge people, but the act of suicide is to be condemned.
 
He goes on to say “assisted suicide is absurdity. Dignity is something different to outing an end to your life.”
 
His words echo that of Maggie Karner.
 
If society creates a “solution” to terminal illnesses like cancer, it could lead to abandonment of the ill and incapable or force people’s hands when they can no longer take care of themselves or pay for treatment, he says.
 
Even though physician-assisted suicide isn’t legal in South Africa, you have a right to accept or refuse treatment for cancer. Read this article about how to broach the subject with your friend and family. 

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