A Dignified Death?

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

pillsLike many, my heart broke when I recently watched Brittany Maynard's video in which she outlined her plans to die through physician-assisted suicide. No one – absolutely no one – welcomes the pain that dealing with a terminal disease invariably brings, and it's clear that this young woman is firm in her convictions. But if I could park my wheelchair beside her, I would tell her how the love of Jesus has sustained me through my chronic pain, quadriplegia and cancer. I don't want her to wake up on the other side of her tombstone only to face a dark, grim existence without life and joy; that is, without God. There's only one Person who has transformed the landscape of life-after-death, and that is Jesus, the One who conquered the grave and opened the path to life eternal. Three grams of Phenobarbital in the veins will only provide a temporary reprieve. It is not the answer for the most important passage of her life.

The hours are ticking away; please, Brittany, open your heart to the only One who can do something about your pain and your death. Life is the most irreplaceable and fundamental condition of the human experience, and I implore you to take a long, hard look at the consequences of your decision which is so fatal, and worst of all, so final.


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I know what you mean , I have spinal bifida and also chronic pain but , without Jesus I couldn't do it either , but He is the giver of life and peace , I pray that this woman will see that , because I too don't want her to see the other side of darkness and lifeless , For Jesus healed her through His stripes and all things through Christ shall strengthen us every day and I pray for steven Hawkins as well , God did not do this to us , the devil did through sin , Amen , God bless you
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 7:10 p.m.
  • karen
I couldn't agree with you more, Joni! Thank you so much for speaking out on this and for sharing the Truth so well! We will be praying for Brittany.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 6:54 p.m.
  • Beth
No one said life was painless,or easy. Jesus said, stick with me and I will bring you through it. I don't understand a lot of suffering, pain, stress of everyday living but I do no this , Jesus has never ever let me down, and even though THE WHY'S I do whom ALWAY'S pulls me though the heartache and person is Jesus. Without Jesus I don't know Where I would be. Just trust Jesus, he is all I got.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • David Lawson
Well said with much heart. I am definitely praying that her heart is open to the Love of God and His Peace through Jesus.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:27 p.m.
  • Sue Edington
What can I say but Amen. Oh, how Brittany has been on my heart since I first heard her plans. Oh Lord, please surround her with people who can speak to her heart of your love for her. Amen
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:19 p.m.
  • Laura Rush Hill
Joni, I was about 8 years old when I saw your movie. Your story made such an impression on me. I figured whatever my life's challenges were, I could face them with God's help as long as I didn't give up. At various trial I would think of you and think, "If Joni can go through all that, I can go through this." I really do not understand why so many people are calling this assisted suicide courageous. I always thought you were because you gave people hope at the darkest times.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:16 p.m.
  • Faith Noll
My sister, Elizabeth was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in February 2014. The prognosis was grim. Many, many people prayed for her and for us too, as she came to live at my home. Afraid of what effect the cancer would have on her brain activity, she made a decision to be kind, and she was. Her only thoughts were for others. Through the journey of caring for her, my husband, sister, brother, cousins, extended family had the privilege of learning more about what love is. Elizabeth taught us what faith is. She had spent years learning to trust God with her life, as she had followed his leading into many avenues of Christian service. Elizabeth passed peacefully on September 16. Amazingly she had suffered no seizures and no pain. God was so gracious and we count our blessings to have learned more about His faithfulness through trusting Him with every day and hour of her life. I know I can trust Him with every hour of my life too.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:15 p.m.
  • Nancy
Joni.....thank you so much for this post. I pray that you found a way to actually send it to Brittany!! I read the story about her plans and my heart breaks for her and for the thoughts she has of ending her life. My prayer is that she will find Jesus and realize that HE is the answer. Thank you for your testimony to so many!!!
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:13 p.m.
  • Becky
Oh life without God I can not make my mind go there.Personally I just got word from my Dr that this pain that has taken hold of my neck is here to stay. I know I am alive because I feel the pain. God has a plan for my life. PTL for that.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 5:04 p.m.
  • Katrinka Poage
Affirming the reality of God's vast and highly personal love, Joni thank you for speaking into all our lives about an everlasting hope, and an ever present help.
  • Oct. 14, 2014
  • 4:59 p.m.
  • Daniel Fetters
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