Should people have the choice of ending their lives due to a terminal illness?

Caitlyn McCarthy, Jack Plewa, Entertainment Editor, Opinion Editor


Life is a not some game in which unwanted situations can be undone. There are illnesses and mistakes that will occur in a person’s life, so when terminal illness occurs, people should have the choice to end their life.

People suffering from terminal illness that are capable of making their own decisions should have the choice of ending their own life with medication from a doctor. Only Oregon, Washington and Vermont currently have “Death with Dignity” laws, and they have very strict rules about getting the medicine.

The patient has to be at least 18 years old, and they have to have been diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months. Also, they have to be a resident of one of the states, and they have to be able to make their own decisions.

With those requirements, I don’t understand why a person would stand in the way of another person who just wants to be let out of their suffering.

It is not like this medicine is going to cause a suicide epidemic; if anything it will continue to help the terminally ill. Making this medicine available in more states would be beneficial to many terminally ill Americans.

Brittany Maynard was faced with a tough decision; suffer through terminal brain cancer or die on her own terms. At the age of 29, Maynard was given less than six months to live, but she decided she was not going to let cancer rule her life. Maynard continued to live life and do as much physical activity as she could do.

She moved from California to Oregon to have access to “Death with Dignity” as her condition began to worsen, while still advocating for the terminally ill to have more options.

Maynard made her decision to “Die with Dignity”; she was able to be in control of the way her life ended.

Many people will argue that it’s cowardly, which I think is completely ridiculous. Until someone is in a similar position of constant suffering and not being able to do daily activities on his or her own, they really have no room to call another human being a coward for doing what he or she believes is right.

Humans cannot control getting a terminal illness, at least let them control the way they end life.



On November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard decided to take her own life due to being diagnosed with brain cancer. She was told she had six months to live, but she didn’t want to live in agony with excruciating pain. She considered what is called “Death with Dignity.” “Death with Dignity” enables terminally ill people to self-ingest medication to end their lives. I, for one, do not agree with it.

People should not have the choice of ending their lives when God gave it to them. Life is something people should value. I understand that people don’t want to suffer, but taking one’s own life is not right. People shouldn’t be remembered as the relative or friend who ended their lives just because they didn’t want to live in pain.

To me, “Death with Dignity” is a glorified version of suicide that is allowed by law.

According to, Brittany stated that she wasn’t suicidal, and that she didn’t want to die. So then why did she kill herself in the end? Just because she was in pain? So then it’s okay for young kids who are getting bullied to commit suicide just to not feel any pain? Of course not. Pain is a part of life whether we like it or not.

What’s dignified about death if people are just taking the easy way out? Is this what we really want to teach kids? To just give up? Who knows, maybe she could’ve lived longer than six months, or a cure may have been found in the next six months. The doctors could also be wrong. Doctors are humans, not fortune tellers.

Taking your life away isn’t God’s way. God did not put people on this planet so we could kill ourselves. He put us here to enjoy life, through the good and the bad.

We leave Earth when God is ready for us, whether it be in a car crash, or from having a terminal illness. Our life is in God’s hands, and it always has been, so don’t make that decision of “Death with Dignity.” Don’t make the same mistake that Brittany did.

No one should have the choice of ending their life. Spend time with family and friends, take pain medication as needed, but leave the end of life up to God.