“I Want a Different Way to Exit”: Bay Area Cancer Patient Joins Crusade to Die With Dignity

A Bay Area woman is saying that she deserves to die with dignity as a recent push to allow terminally ill patients the right to control when and how they die gains national momentum.

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in California but San Mateo resident Jennifer Glass is trying to change that.

Glass is living with a terminal illness and trying to take advantage of every day, but says if or when the pain is too much to bear, she can be in control.

“The time just flies by,” Glass said. Time Glass holds dear.

Last year, Glass was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer after her husband noticed a lump on her neck

She documented each day of chemo therapy with a picture — some days stronger than others.

Her doctors say she has a five percent chance of living another five years.

“I don’t want to drown in my own lung fluid with my family watching my suffer,” Glass said. “I want a different way to exit — a life that I’ve worked hard to live fully."

Glass says that when the time comes, she wants the option to die with dignity like Brittany Maynard.

A Vatican official is criticizing cancer patient Maynard's decision to end her life.

The 29-year-old Maynard died on Saturday using an Oregon law that lets terminally ill people use lethal medications prescribed by a doctor. Maynard moved from California to Oregon because of the state's law.

On Tuesday, the Vatican's top bioethics official cautioned that he was not judging anyone. But he said Maynard's act is “in itself reprehensible'' and the gesture should be “condemned.''

A board member of the Portland-based advocacy group Compassion & Choices, Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, responded that Maynard was not Catholic and it would be wrong to impose a set of religious beliefs on people who do not share them.

Trent Horn with Catholic Answers believes terminally ill patients should be treated with dignity by support and comfort, not the option to die.

“Physicians should help kill disease and kill pain but they shouldn’t kill patients,” Horn said.

Glass may not live to see the laws change in California, but she hopes her story will offer hope to other who are suffering.

“I live now a very thoughtful and purposeful life,” she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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