Brittany Maynard Tries to Stifle Debate

by Wesley J. Smith

The Brittany Maynard media explosion (my takes here and here) is an intense advocacy offensive–funded substantially by the culturally subversive George Soros through his support of Compassion and Choices–that is intended to do two things:

1. Drive assisted suicide into implementation by the power of hyper-emotion.

2. Silence those who want to discuss non-lethal approaches to caring for terminally ill patients in the larger context of the issues raised by Maynard’s illness.

Thus, Maynard has unfairly attacked palliative care expert, Dr. Ira Byock, for daring to state that people with terminal brain cancer can die peaceful deaths without taking poison. From a transcript presented on Thaddeus Pope’s Medical Futility Blog:  

“I am Brittany Maynard and it concerns me that Dr. Ira Byock will speak on my ‘behalf’ at all again.

I watched a special on PBS where this same individual spoke about my case as though he knew personal details about me, saying some things that were quite frankly not true. “For example, he said that a gentle death would be available to me easily through hospice, unfortunately that would be after a great length of time, with lots of suffering (physical and emotional), and loss for my young body. 

Byock did not speak on her “behalf.” He hasn’t treated her and wouldn’t do that.

To the contrary, he addressed the issue of what hospice can do for patients with terminal brain cancer. Maynard–and more particularly, Compassion and Choices–are just trying to shut up voices they don’t want heard in the discussion by using her tragedy as a bludgeon.

Back to Maynard:

As a terminally ill patient, I find it disrespectful and disturbing when people discuss my personal health with details that are not accurate to push an agenda.

My request is that physicians speak only what they directly know to be factually true and have a right to discuss.

Do you see what is going on? Do you see the cynical tactic?

Maynard put herself into the international spotlight to push assisted suicide–and then uses her own tragedy as a bludgeon to shame anyone who gainsays the agenda into silence. 

Well, baloney: Nobody is violating Maynard’s privacy. To the contrary: She and C & C are inserting her story into in every possible venueThat being so, people have every right to comment about the ISSUE presented–and that includes what hospice can do for people with brain cancer–as well as whether assisted suicide is appropriate or beneficent public policy.

People also have every right to opine about whether she is doing the right thing in her campaign and in deciding to take poison. She brought the issue up.

To put it bluntly, whether to legalize physician-prescribed suicide is about much more than Brittany Maynard’s individual circumstances, as tragic and emotionally compelling as that may be.

Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.