ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The much-publicized death of Brittany Maynard, a woman with brain cancer who took her own life, has stirred a national movement. Supporters of Death With Dignity rallied in Annapolis Wednesday.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports they are pushing for legislation to make end of life choices legal in Maryland.
A balloon released on Lawyers Mall outside the State House Wednesday in memory of Brittany Maynard signals a campaign to bring the right to die debate to Maryland.
Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and decided to die, as she put it, with dignity instead of letting the disease slowly kill her.
“I am choosing to end it a little sooner and in a lot less pain and suffering,” she said.
She died in Oregon, one of five Right to Die states allowing doctors to prescribe lethal doses of prescription drugs to end a patient’s life.
Rockville resident Alexa Frazier says her father had no humane choice.
“He tried to cut his wrists but that is really hard to do when your hands are shaking from Parkinson’s and it didn’t work. Then he shot himself. But I think my father died of Parkinson’s,” she said.
On Saturday, Pope Francis denounced the Right to Die movement, calling it a sin against God the creator. Maynard’s mother calls it a human rights issue.
“You are in charge of how much pain and how much suffering and how much plodding forward you want to do,” she said.
The group gathered in Annapolis Wednesday calls it death with dignity.
“What I think is amazing about Brittany is she didn’t do it to go viral; she did it to change laws and that’s why we’re here today,” said Gwen Fitzgerald, Compassion and Choices.
Their effort to find support among lawmakers has already begun.
A Right to Die bill passed the New Jersey assembly last week and awaits action by the New Jersey Senate. Governor Chris Christie has opposed it.
Other Local News:
- ‘Winters Without A Lot Of Snow, Much More Rainfall’ | How Baltimore Will Experience Future Climate Change
- Catholic Girl’s School In Baltimore Holds Active Shooter Training
- Five-Year-Old Girl Saves Up Allowance Money, Donates It To Meals On Wheels
- Crews Investigating Reported Serious Crash On MD-140 In Westminster
- Rhode Island Withdraws From Maryland Memorial Cross Case