Christy, who spent so much of her life fighting for her sister's right to die and working to help other families who faced end of life and quality of life decisions, spent her last six months showing people how to die. But just as importantly, she showed them how to live.
There should be a statutory, civil right to die for those whose lives are made unbearable by incurable illness. It is an inherent contradiction to be both a libertarian and simultaneously against allowing others to end their lives of pain on their own terms.
Too often we don't end up extending life; rather, we extend dying. For those who define meaning in a manner that imbues them with the desire to go out on their own terms, this law gives them that choice.
Why can't we offer dignity to those that know they are dying, that know that they will die in excruciating pain and will spend their last days suffering? Why can't we respect the wishes of those who want to exit gracefully, respectfully, surrounded by those they love?
I think Brittany Maynard is a hero. She did not want to die. An illness was killing her, and she made a brave decision to leave this Earth before that happened -- even though her own government and some critics didn't make it easy for her.
In case this feels to trite or clinical, consider the reference to war above. In a typical context, anyone would tend to agree that a teenager putting themselves into harm's way, in which death was all but inevitable, would be tragically wrong.
Brittany Maynard has a right to life -- to her life. And a right to one's life requires, as an inseparable corollary, the right to terminate it. What else is a right to some action if not the freedom to choose whether or not to engage in it?