A 46-year-old mom who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer wants to die when she feels she’s ready to go. Christy O’Donnell has joined two other people who are suffering from terminal cancer in a lawsuit for the right to die on their own terms. The three plaintiffs in this suit are looking to die a “quick and peaceful death,” states the lawsuit against the state of California.
This single mom doesn’t want to die by fighting this illness in its last painful course with temporary medical fixes. It is not that Christy O’Donnell wants to die, but this diagnosis dictates that she has about six-months left to live and what that life will look like towards the end is not something O’Donnell, who is an attorney, wants to live through, according to ABC News on May 19.
The single mom from Santa Clarita, California is fighting for the right to die at home while holding her 20-year-old daughter’s hand. What life for O’Donnell will look like if she is not granted this right is not something anyone would want to experience. O’Donnell shared what the end of her life will look like in a YouTube video posted by the group Compassion and Choices. You can view the video above. This is the nonprofit aid-in-dying group that Brittany Maynard worked with before ending her life last fall, in a high-profile case.
According to the Canada Journal today, with only six months to live, this right she is fighting for may not come in time for O’Donnell’s case, but she finds solace knowing that the fight for this right may help others in the future. She describes what her end of life will look like without this right to die on her own terms.
O’Donnell says; “The most likely way that I’m going to die with the lung cancer is that my left lung will fill with fluid, I’ll start drowning in my own fluid. If I get to a hospital, they’ll very painfully put a tube in. They’ll drain the fluid from my lung, only to patch me up, send me home and wait until the next time my lung fills up with fluid. And they’ll continue to repeat that process and drowning painfully until I die.”
O’Donnell explains that she was diagnosed with a form of cancer called adenocarcinoma, which is a lung cancer common among non-smokers. She said that her 20-year-old daughter calls her every day before coming home from work. O’Donnell believes this is so her daughter knows that she is still alive and she is not walking into the house to find her mother dead. This is not what she wants for her daughter.
The pain that O’Donnell experiences is something that she will have to live through because she is morphine intolerant. The cancer has spread to her brain, ribs, liver and spine and she has no way to manage the pain. She wants the right to die laying in bed with her daughter next to her holding her hand. He fear is that this right won’t be granted in time, but she is fighting until the end so that another mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter will not have to go through a terminal illness with no say in how they die.