Does Brittany Maynard’s decision affect the future of oncology?

kevinMD

Would you base a life or death decision based on one doctor’s opinion? One research article? Google searches? What would it take?

I recently read that Brittany Maynard took her own life. Plagued by glioblastoma, she chose to reject chemotherapy, radiation, and hospice. Tomorrow, I have a schedule packed with glioblastoma patients who personify courage, determination, and faith.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a primary brain cancer that spreads along the “glue” of the brain, destroying healthy brain and stealing function as it grows. It is one of the worst diagnoses in all of oncology to receive, as it is always terminal. As a neuro-oncologist, it is my “bread and butter” disease.

As I have followed her story, I have so many questions. I wonder what she was told by her doctors. She states that she visited with “many experts.”

Read more: Does Brittany Maynard’s decision affect the future of oncology?

Doblin: Let's be honest: Assembly bill is about suicide, not dignity

njersey

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

BY ALFRED P. DOBLIN

I AM not evil. According to Brittany Maynard, I am. Maynard was the 29-year-old terminally ill woman who moved from California to Oregon so she could commit suicide on Nov. 1. I am not evil, and I refuse to be an apologist for what we are talking about across these not-so-United States. The New Jersey Death With Dignity Act is mislabeled. The function of such a law is to allow people to end their lives — and that is called suicide.

Read more: Doblin: Let's be honest: Assembly bill is about suicide, not dignity

N.J.'s consideration of legalizing assisted suicide needs deeper study

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November 20, 2014

By Charles C. Camosy 

Late Thursday night, and driven largely by new energy from the national story of Brittany Maynard, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill in favor of assisted suicide. Gov. Chris Christie will almost certainly veto it, and the Senate doesn’t appear to have the votes for passage. But even if the bill is unlikely to pass in the near term, Assemblyman John Burzichelli believes it’s “just a matter of at what point” a bill like this will pass in New Jersey.

 

This is overconfidence. The debate about assisted suicide has tremendous complexity—complexity that turns conventional political wisdom on its head.

Read more: N.J.'s consideration of legalizing assisted suicide needs deeper study

N.J. Senate health committee chairman takes his name off doctor-assisted suicide bill

nj.comNovember 16, 2014

The chairman of the state Senate’s health committee earlier this year quietly withdrew his sponsorship from a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients.

...“I initially supported the idea of the bill and signed on. After a time, I had more questions and concerns than answers. So I thought it was honest to remove my name and continue to think about it.”

Read more: N.J. Senate health committee chairman takes his name off doctor-assisted suicide bill