With all due respect to this woman and her family - I call BS! I'm not judging her, but all of the hypocrisy in this.
Suicide is a deeply personal thing; those who do it or consider it are going through some heavy stuff in their lives, so I can't judge.
I can be angry, though, and I am deeply angry about this. Why? Because if this woman didn't have a medical condition, we would be begging her not to do it. In some states, she'd already be involuntarily committed to get her some treatment. But, because she has a tumor, she is considered brave for doing what she plans to do.
I am sick and tired of suicide being romanticized for people with disabilities, yet villified for nondisabled folks. You can't have it both ways. Suicide is a tragedy no matter who does it. It affects everyone around the person who took his or her life - family, friends, loved ones and the community around that person.
Why is it that disabled folks are considered brave for killing ourselves? It all goes back to the societal attitude of better dead than disabled or better dead than to have THAT condition. People see those of us with disabilities as useless and worthless. We are presumed incompetent and our abilities, indeed, everything we do, including the act of living, is called into question.
We humans tend to fear and hate what we don't understand, and disability is no exception. It's why our community is treated the way it is. Sure, many people will say that they support us, but I look at how we are treated by those who have the real power - those who make the laws, rules, policies and systems that govern our lives. I notice that laws designed to protect our civil rights are weak and ineffective, at best. I notice how difficult it is for us to get the health care, particularly the mental health care that we need, especially if we have severe disabilities. I notice how people grumble about how much money we cost, yet, will do everything in their power to keep us out of the workplace.
So, it's no wonder to me why society doesn't mind if we die out. Heck, if they can't do it by abortions and cures, then they can do it by killing us by euthanasia or by allowing, or coercing us to kill ourselves via this death with dignity farce.
What Brittany Maynard plans to do is tragic enough, but it is all the more tragic to the disability community because it is subtle coersion telling us that we not only have the right, but the duty to die. That's what its all leading to - these physician assisted suicide laws and the belief that people with disabilities who take their own lives are heroes - it is leading us down the path to the day when we won't have a choice - we'll have laws on the books requiring us to die - unless we can stop this notion that us killing ourselves is an act of bravery, selflessness or heroism. To get to that, we have to abolish the world view that it's better to be dead than disabled.
Suicide is a horrible, awful tragedy no matter who you are.