Cancer Patient Who Committed Suicide in Oregon: 'Not a Victory for a Political Cause,' But 'a Tragedy'

Tragedy Said to Have Been Aided by Culture of Death Invading United States

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Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, issued a statement after learning of the suicide this weekend of Brittany Maynard, a young woman in Oregon who decided to die under the state’s Death with Dignity law rather than continue to battle an aggressive brain cancer.

“We are saddened by the fact that this young woman gave up hope, and now our concern is for other people with terminal illnesses who may contemplate following her example,» Morana said. «Our prayer is that these people will find the courage to live every day to the fullest until God calls them home. Brittany’s death was not a victory for a political cause. It was a tragedy, hastened by despair and aided by the culture of death invading our country.”

Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Maynard, 29, was given six months to live in April, and used her last months to advocate for an expanse of assisted suicide in more states of the United States.

Because of social media, her plight brought a widespread response from those who hoped she would decide not to commit suicide. The archbishop of Portland, Oregon, released a statement regarding assisted suicide.

Others who participated in the response included many cancer patients, including Philip Johnson, a 30-year-old Catholic seminarian from the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, who also has terminal brain cancer. 

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