Suicide Option Would Undermine My Cancer Battle

An assisted suicide bill has been presented in the Connecticut state legislature. This opinion piece by Maggie Karner appeared in the Courant Newspaper. 

Maggie Karner has been diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer - a glioblastoma. The same diagnosis as Brittany Maynard who used her circumstances to support assisted suicide. Maggie, who would qualify under the new bill, sees it differently.

'Like many Connecticut residents, I have wondered whether I would want my doctor to offer suicide as a treatment for deadly cancer. The out-of-state proponents of the bill regarding physician-assisted suicide suggest having the ability to end your life legally is comforting. But I can tell you from personal experience that it is nearly as troubling as the cancer itself.'

Maggie's observations are personal, she draws strength from knowing that no-one will 'give up on me'.

'Right now, I have the firm support of the state and my fellow citizens in my desire to live - no matter the cost or burden. If that were to change, the tiny knowledge that I might be straining my family, friends, doctors or community resources unnecessarily would be a heavy burden. The constant "option" for suicide would wear at my resolve and I fear, become an unspoken "duty" for me and others.'

Countering this 'unspoken duty', Maggie Karner sees great opportunity in her illness:

"For me, this is a very personal fight. I find that my ongoing battle against aggressive glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer does not define who I am as a person, but instead provides me opportunities to share with others the innate value that every person can bring to society - whether infirm or able. My brain may be cancerous, but I still have lots to contribute to society as a strong woman, wife and mother while my family can daily learn the value of caring for me in my last days with compassion and dignity.

"I encourage the caring voters of Connecticut to once again contact their state legislators and insist that assisted suicide has no place in our state of independent thinkers. Slogans of "right to die" are just words to people like me who need your constant and continued support to avoid a "duty to die."

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