I’m saddened for Brittany and her family. Both battling cancer and losing a loved one to cancer is so very difficult. I’m sorry for their loss.
The coverage of Brittany’s death has addressed the national and international debate regarding assisted suicide. I thought this piece was quite balanced.
One of the interviewees noted the actions of an insurance company with offices in a state that had legalized assisted suicide.
Tim Rosales, spokesman for Patients Rights Action Coalition based in Princeton, N.J., said that for every Brittany Maynard, there’s a Barbara Wagner, an Oregon woman who fought her insurance company when it said it would cover drugs for her suicide but not for chemotherapy to fight her lung cancer.
“We have to look at assisted suicide in much broader terms,” Rosales said in a phone interview Sunday evening. “Obviously, we’re very saddened to hear the news about Brittany Maynard. However, that being said, suicide or assisted suicide sends the wrong message to a lot of young people are the country, particularly those who are dealing with psychological or physical challenges or serious illnesses.”
I hope this was an isolated incident. And if assisted suicide is decriminalized in Canada, which it may very well be, I hope we don’t see insurance companies mailing out letters like these to Canadians. As someone who has struggled with cancer and chronic illness, these actions hit far too close to home.