Brittany Maynard died on Saturday, peacefully and surrounded by her husband, parents, and her best friend.
The lovely young newlywed captured the attention of the everyone in the nation. Then everyone seemed to zealously take one side or another on her choice.
Despite mostly religious cries that she was doing the wrong thing or sinning by taking her own life, she made the difficult decision to die on her own terms.
For example, Maggie Karner, a woman with the same kind of brain cancer that was slowly taking Brittany Maynard’s life, posted an open letter to Maynard on YouTube.
In it she says, “All of us are feeling your loss, your pain. Nobody is judging, but people are watching.”
She then compared Maynard to a jumper on a ledge.
“What would happen if our society decided to yell to that ledge jumper, ‘Yeah, you’re right, there isn’t a better way. Go ahead,'” Karner asked.
In an interesting turn of metaphor, Benjamin L. Corey, of Patheos, also eloquently compared Brittany to a jumper.
But, not just any jumper, the iconic “Falling Man” featured in a 9/11 photo by Richard Drew.
You probably remember the startling and disturbing images, and sounds, of people hitting the pavement and lower roofs on the live footage of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Corey likens Brittany Maynard to those jumpers in that they didn’t choose to die, but they did choose how they would die.
Instead of suffocating in the heavy smoke or burning to death in the flames, they chose an inevitable end to their lives that would be quicker and less painful. Yet, Corey points out, no one rose up and called their actions wrong or sinful.
In fact, the cause of their deaths was listed as homicide by blunt force trauma.
A spokesman from the New York City medical examiners office put it this way, “Jumping indicates a choice, and these people did not have that choice.”
She added, “That is why the deaths were ruled homicide, because the actions of other people caused them to die…”
Brittany Maynard’s situation has polarized the country like not very many issues can. What do you think about her choice?