Dr. Oz: Brittany Maynard’s Mother Debbie Ziegler
Dr. Oz has been talking to Debbie Ziegler, the mother of Brittany Maynard, the woman who famously made headlines in late 2014 when she made the decision to take her own life rather than die from the aggressive stage 4 brain tumor she had.
Dr. Oz: Death with Dignity Criteria
Dr. Oz talked to Compassion and Choices Director Dr. David Grube, who explained the requirements for making a decision like Brittany made in the state of Oregon. There must be a terminal diagnosis, where the patient is not expected to live more than 6 months, and there is no cure. The person must be a resident of Oregon, be older than 18, able to make decisions on their own, and not be coerced into making the decision. Two doctors have to diagnose the patient and meet them to ensure they fulfill these criteria. There’s also a written and oral request and a two-week waiting period.
Dr. Oz: Does Death with Dignity Go Against the Hippocratic Oath?
Dr. Oz wondered if this goes against the Hippocratic Oath. Dr. Grube said when he first started to practice, his friend got a very bad cancer. Dr. Grube wasn’t his doctor. His friend’s doctors were very good and did what they could, but his friend’s cancer got so bad that it got to his bones and he was suffering terribly.
One day, Dr. Grube’s friend’s son called him and told him something was wrong with his father. Dr. Grube went over to the house and found that his friend had ended his own life with a shotgun. Dr. Grube said this taught him that doctors need to alleviate suffering. That should be their mission.
Dr. Oz: Does Death with Dignity Glorify Suicide?
Dr. Oz said many people argue that any type of death with dignity approach “glorifies suicide.” Is that true? Dr. Grube said that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem. These people who seek Death with Dignity don’t have a temporary problem.
Dr. Oz: Brittany Maynard’s Legacy
Brittany Maynard started an online campaign to spread these laws nationwide. Debbie said that she wanted to give terminally ill people as many options as she could. Then those people can sit down with their loved ones and figure out what’s right for them.
Debbie said her daughter told her that while she couldn’t give her a grandchild, she could give her legacy, which was advocating for terminally ill people to have the option of taking their own life.
This segment ended with a message from Brittany, where Brittany said she wanted her husband to move on and have a family and become a father, because she didn’t want him to hang onto her for the rest of his life. She also wished her mother would be able to move past the grief and not fall into a depression. It was a very tearful, emotional message.