© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Source: Brittany Maynard Stirs Right-To-Die Movement


#451820991 / gettyimages.com

Brittany Maynard took her own life last weekend. The 29-year-old had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year. The woman--healthy in every other way--was very public about her decision. Utilizing social and other media she invited people into her last few months. She has rekindled the smoldering debate over the right to end your own life.

Her decision to utilize Oregon's "Death With Dignity" law. The law has been on the books since 1997. Since then more than 1100 people have received life-ending prescriptions and 752 people have taken their own lives.

Opponents have lamented over the coverage of Maynard's decision. They accused the media and right-to-death advocates exploiting Maynard's story to advance an agenda. Additionally, slippery slopes in Holland--which allows the severely depressed to end their lives--have been pointed to as reasons for people to be wary.

What will Maynard's decision mean to the country? Will we see more states adopt right-to-death legislation, adding to the 5 that already utilize it?


  • Dr. Jason Morrow, palliative care specialist and medical ethicist at the University of Texas Health Science Center
Stay Connected
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive