Brittany Maynard

Gov. Jerry Brown's Catholicity vs. euthanasia decision gets above-the-fold ink

Gov. Jerry Brown's Catholicity vs. euthanasia decision gets above-the-fold ink

Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old Californian who moved to Oregon last year so she could end her life instead of facing the last stages of brain cancer, got her political revenge this week.

That's the reality in the news coverage. That’s because -- unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere -- California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill making assisted suicide legal. Which opened the gates to this controversial personal or family choice to some 38 million people overnight.

And the Los Angeles Times reporter who covered it did a great job of making the religion angle front and center. That is, the Catholic governor of the country’s most populous state did something totally against his religion, but readers got to learn about how that decision played out. Start reading here:

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.
Brown appeared to struggle in deciding whether to approve the bill, whose opponents included the Catholic Church.
“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

After explaining some provisions of the End of Life Option Act and placing a quote by its opponents quite high in the story, the reporter swung back to Brown, who said he had weighed the religious arguments.

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Shades of Zarathustra: The New York Times maps dying woman whose brain may live on

Shades of Zarathustra: The New York Times maps dying woman whose brain may live on

Last weekend, a giant New York Times story came out that combined elements of "The Matrix" and “That Hideous Strength” (the C.S. Lewis classic) with a dollop of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old Oregon woman who ended her life last year rather than suffer the final months of a brain cancer known as a glioblastoma. GetReligion covered the media circus about this last November, which involved Brittany's media campaign to serve as a poster child for euthanasia.

This time, we have a story again about a 20-something woman with the same kind of brain cancer who chose to preserve her brain. She died in early 2013.

Only now is the Times revealing how it followed this woman about in her final months as she explored the use of her brain for a futurist fantasy where even science fiction writers rarely tread. Although the science involved spans the next few centuries, what the woman wanted is as old as Adam and Eve: To live forever.

In the moments just before Kim Suozzi died of cancer at age 23, it fell to her boyfriend, Josh Schisler, to follow through with the plan to freeze her brain.
As her pulse monitor sounded its alarm and her breath grew ragged, he fumbled for his phone. Fighting the emotion that threatened to paralyze him, he alerted the cryonics team waiting nearby and called the hospice nurses to come pronounce her dead. Any delay would jeopardize the chance to maybe, someday, resurrect her mind.
It was impossible to know on that cloudless Arizona morning in January 2013 which fragments of Kim’s identity might survive, if any.

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AP has Catholics standing alone, sort of, in debates over California right-to-die bill

AP has Catholics standing alone, sort of, in debates over California right-to-die bill

Last time I checked, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has quite a few congregations in the state of California.

The same thing is true for the Southern Baptists, the Assemblies of God and the whole world of nondenominational evangelical Protestantism. Can you say Vineyards? Surely there are quite a few mosques, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Hindu sanctuaries, as well.

Why do I make this rather obvious point?

Check out the top of this recent Associated Press report about the latest front in the political and moral wars over the whole right to die, death with dignity, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia question. Spot anything strange?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Legislation that would allow California physicians to help terminally ill patients end their lives has met strong opposition from lawmakers in Catholic districts and others. ...

Aid-in-dying advocates hoped the nationally publicized case of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old California woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally end her life last fall, would prompt a wave of new state laws allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending
medications. But no state has passed right-to-die legislation this year, and efforts have been defeated or stalled in Colorado, Maine, New Jersey and elsewhere.

And there's more:

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CNN continues ratings countdown to the death of young Brittany Maynard

CNN continues ratings countdown to the death of young Brittany Maynard

Let's face it. At this point CNN owns the Brittany Maynard "death with dignity" story. At this point, we are watching the final steps by in her pilgrimage to Nov. 1.

As always, when the rules of "Kellerism" journalism are being followed (click here for background on this salute to former New York Times editor Bill Keller), there is no need for any other point of view on this highly divisive issue. It would be hard to do otherwise, when the story literally began with the 29-year-old Maynard writing an exclusive essay for CNN.

This short update is the latest:

Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life, has checked the last item off her bucket list. She visited the Grand Canyon last week.
"The Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful," she wrote on her website, "and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature."
Photos showed her and her husband standing on the edge of the canyon, hugging and kissing. 

But in real life, there is pain on the other side of these kinds of moments.

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