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The Social Implications of Brittany Maynard 'Dying With Dignity'

The Social Implications of Brittany Maynard 'Dying With Dignity'

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During an Intelligence Squared panel in New York City Wednesday evening, debaters argued over what defines '€œdignity'€ and what it means, exactly to die with it. Dying with dignity, in Brittany Maynard'€™s mind, implies that taking control of her situation and dying on her own terms is the best possible solution to her diagnosis. Having control over your own death may not be '€œnatural'€ per se, but it can be compassionate. Maynard made the choice because life as the way she wanted to experience it should have been full of youth, vigor, beauty, and love '€” not pain, suffering, and a gradual wasting away of her mind and body. But to the physicians arguing against the law, dignity meant embracing the fact that life's value wasn't only found in beauty, youth, and independence '€” things our society values so much. Life itself was dignity, they claimed, even if it meant becoming deteriorated, old, and dependent.