In 2002, doctors told Chastity Phillips that she had an incurable form of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma and needed to undergo a risky surgery to prolong her life. If she refused surgery, the cancer would continue to affect her heart, spinal cord and ribs. Phillips decided to go through with the operation because she said there wasn’t anything she wasn’t willing to do to have one more day with her daughter.
Now, 13-years later, she’s still alive and sharing about her experience with terminal cancer. She said, “There’s a certain freedom that comes with dying. You really don’t have to deal with your annoying cousin. You really don’t have to go on that family trip. You can eat ice cream for breakfast.”
Additionally, Phillips is speaking out against physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients because it doesn’t give them the opportunity to find comfort in their condition.
She explained, “I’m able to surround myself with people like me. These aren’t things that people are told exist. Doctors often don’t know. They value my life as it is.”
Phillips also articulated that she worries people with terminal diseases aren’t aware of the help available to them through support groups and advanced palliative care.
The CEO of Not Dead Yet, Diane Coleman, echoed Phillips sentiment and added that there are simply not enough safe-guards in place to protect the elderly and disabled from coercion. Earlier this year, Anne Cupolo Freeman from the Disabilities Rights Education & Defense Fund Inc. explained the other problems with so-called “Right to Die” bills currently before legislatures across the country.
She said, “No assisted-suicide ‘safeguard’ can ever protect against coercion. In this era of managed care, will those living with a disability and the seriously ill be more likely offered lethal prescriptions in place of medical treatment? A prescription for 100 Seconal tablets costs far less than most medical treatments, especially considering the cost of long-term care for someone living with a disability.”
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Philipps concluded, “There would be no one there to know whether or not a patient changes her mind or decides that she isn’t ready to die. There would be no one there to know if the individual has taken the pills on her own or if someone else put the lethal dose in a feeding tube.”
As LifeNews previously reported, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard became the face of the assisted suicide movement in our country after announcing through a Compassion and Choices campaign that she would end her own life with a fatal dose of phenobarbital.
In 2014, Brittany was diagnosed with stage-four brain cancer and decided to move from her California home to Oregon so she could have access to lethal drugs to use to take her life. Oregon is one of five states, along with New Mexico, Montana, Washington, and Vermont that allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
Learn more about Phillips survival story in the video below.