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Joni Eareckson Tada Offers Heartbroken Plea to Brittany Maynard


Joni Eareckson Tada, host of Joni and Friends and a quadriplegic who has been in a wheelchair for over 47 years after a diving accident at age 17, is heartbroken over Brittany Maynard’s plans to opt for physician-assisted suicide.

Twenty-nine-year-old Maynard is terminally ill with the most lethal form of brain cancer. She was diagnosed in the spring, and doctors gave her six months to live. She doesn’t want to die, but if she has to die she say she wants to go with dignity.

“I don’t want to die,” Maynard told CBS News. “If anyone wants to hand me, like, a magical cure and save my life so that I can have children with my husband, you know, I will take them up on it.”

Tada says her heart broke when she watched 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, she says, 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,” says Tada, who is also a breast cancer survivor.

“There’s only one Person who has transformed the landscape of life-after-death, and that is Jesus, the One who conquered the grave, opening 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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