Death With Dignity Act of Oregon has been in the news because Brittany Maynard has chosen to end her life using this legal act in Oregon. A flurry of blogspots have written why she shouldn’t end her life or why she should and the debate rages on the internet with the fire of religion bellowing it into an inferno. What about God’s will? What about the sin of suicide? What about the beauty of the lesson of suffering? What about the sanctity of life?
What about what Brittany wants? Atheists countered. What proof is there that God exists to punish someone for committing suicide? Why would this be a sin, wouldn’t God want his precious creation to NOT suffer? If he is the most compassionate, most merciful, giving this woman this kind of cancer isn’t compassionate or merciful is it? If god is so loving, and love is what god is all about, how is this loving or even a gift of love?
Life isn’t fair. It has nothing to do with lack of compassion, mercy or even love. Sometimes things are put on our plate to deal with that are hard to deal with and question our very deepest morals and test our beliefs out of love and compassion. This is what jihad really is, not a literal holy war between people that involves bombs and guns, but a spiritual war within ourselves that changes us on a new and deeper level with God and our spirit. What is what good for us isn’t going to be good for Brittany.
Brittany doesn’t want to suffer and believes that suffering is wrong. I don’t believe that God created us to suffer or that suffering somehow brings us closer to God and understanding God. I feel God wants us to live lives that are happy, get through the bad times with joy, and if one cannot then another means must be found. The type of death Brittany faces is terribly painful, horrible, and she will suffer. She has chosen to be kind to herself and love herself enough to not want to put herself through that. She has chosen a painful path to end her life, to end her journey of life with the man she loves and recently married, rather than die a death that would more than likely kill a part of her family and friends too who watch her progress through this. This is her most holy choice and it isn’t up to us to feel compassion and mercy for her to do something she doesn’t want to do, it is our job to love her through her choice right to the end no matter what. Unconditionally because she is our sister human and deserves this respect.
Let her have peace now so that her last days here are full of love and life, not overshadowed with death and suffering. Let that fact of this thing fade to the back for the sake of compassion and mercy.