By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers debate life with the choice of death. It’s a death with dignity bill that would allow people with terminal illnesses to end their lives.

Political reporter Pat Warren looks at both sides of this emotional debate, which Tuesday, included a member of the Ravens organization.

Tough choices.

“My name is Kelly Lange and I have Stage IV metastatic breast cancer.”

“My name is O.J. Brigance and I am here in opposition to Senate Bill 676.”

Famous athlete O.J. Brigance and determined advocate Kelly Lange face life and death decisions on a level playing field and come to different conclusions.

In an Eyewitness News Special Report, O.J. Brigance talked to WJZ‘s Vic Carter about living with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

On Tuesday, using translating technology, he told lawmakers that giving people the option to die is not good policy.

“I did not create my life, so I have no right to negate my life,” the former Raven said.

The bill before Senate lawmakers gives patients the option of end of life without resorting to extreme methods of suicide.

“I want to go holding my husband’s hand with my own control. Not being overdosed on morphine by my hospice team, not with a gun, which I don’t own anyway, but with my own choosing with my family around me in a legal way,” said Lange.

The process involves prescription drugs and strict guidelines and conditions.

There’s no early indication as to when or if the committee will vote on the bill.

A hearing on the bill in the House was held last week.


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