Tragedy of Assisted Suicide: An Open Letter to Brittany Maynard

Landon ChapmanChristianity, Personal52 Comments

2014.11.03 NOTE:  Apparently Mrs. Maynard has, in fact, chosen to end her life.  As Christians, our hearts should be broken. Based on her own comments, chances are this woman prematurely sent herself to eternal conscious torment in hell.  Before you drift off to sleep tonight, pray that by God’s sovereign and providential grace, Mrs. Maynard’s heart of stone was replaced with one of flesh before she committed suicide.

The real tragedy here is not that she committed suicide, rather, that all signs point to her dying in her sins.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)

Brittany Maynard took her life this weekend to ease her suffering.  Sadly, it did not ease her suffering.

As I’m sure most of you have already seen, there is a viral video circulating social media of an Oregon woman who, at the age of 29 years, has decided to end her life after having been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  This six-minute video clip explains her heartbreaking situation:


What immediately stands out in that video is the heavy undertones of humanism and self-fulfillment.  Of particular concern to me was the following comment,

“The reason to consider life and what’s of value is to make sure you’re not missing out. Seize the day. What’s important to you, what do you care about, what matters? Pursue that. Forget the rest.”

This breaks my heart on two levels.  Obviously the health problems are unimaginable, but the bigger issue here is the fact that she’s choosing suicide over God.  She’s choosing to play God instead of putting her faith and trust in Him.  There is no such thing as “death with dignity”.  It’s suicide no matter how some try to dress up the language.

The prospect of more pain and suffering is obviously terrible, but it’s not our decision how we go out.  I immediately began to hope and pray a Pastor or evangelist would have the opportunity to share the Gospel with her before she kills herself, literally, and is thrown into eternal conscious torment.  I have no doubt she is far braver than I would be if I were facing a similar fate.  However, regardless of how terrified I am or would be, I lean into Christ and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) as it is He who is both the author of life and the author of death.  Mrs. Maynard will not die prematurely; she will die at the precise moment God knew she would before the foundation of the World.

I so wish I could speak with this beautiful person who was made Imago Dei (in God’s image) to share the Gospel with her. Her quote I posted above is not new (Ecclesiastes 1:9). It’s exactly what Solomon lusted after in Ecclesiastes but at the end of the day he rightly determined, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Ecc 2:11)

Are you savedThrough the modern marvel that is social media and social networking, I did manage to find Mrs. Maynard’s Facebook page and while she has wisely restricted its access completely, Facebook does allow me to send her a message.  We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and we are called to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).  With those two directives in mind, I feel as though even from Indiana I can try to be the hands and feet of Christ (1 Corinthians 12) and share the Gospel with this young lady.  Here is the message I have sent to her:

Dear Mrs. Maynard –

I have no doubt your inbox is currently flooded ever since your story went viral so I have no delusions nor expectations that this letter will ever be read. However, I felt as though I must at least reach out.

The video that went viral was touching and my heart aches for you and your family. I cannot imagine the type of pain both physically and emotionally you must be experiencing. You are a brave woman who appears to be remaining strong in the face of tragic news. Facing one’s mortality is never easy and you’ve received the unenviable position of that reality having been thrust upon you unexpectedly.  Obviously not knowing you in any way whatsoever, I have no idea where you stand theologically.  But, I will say this, the loving Father that knit you in your mother’s womb and knew exactly how your short time on this Earth would end before the formation of the World, He was not surprised.  While it is tough to accept that His plan for you was to leave this life at a very young age, take comfort in knowing that through your pain and suffering, others find hope.

I too have hope.  Though my hope is not rooted in anything in this world as it is all vanity.  At the end of the day, nothing of the World matters; again it’s all vanity and chasing after the wind.  Well, that sure doesn’t sound very hopeful, does it?  You see, I have a Savior and a loving Heavenly Father who replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh.  In my previous years, I always considered myself a “good person”, one who treated others fairly and just lived my life.  But God, in his might and providence reached down and spared me from the depths of eternal conscious torment known as Hell.  I went from a porn-watching, lying, hypocrite to a life of repentance and faith; a life lived for one purpose only and that is to glorify Him.  Has my life been ponies and rainbows since my conversion to biblical Christianity?  Certainly not.  Do I still sin every day?  Absolutely.  But I am heartbroken that I could sit in the lap of my Lord and Savior and continually slap Him in the face.  This is the God from whom I steal the air I breathe every single day.  This is the God who is in control of the muscles in my mouth of which I used to blaspheme Him.

How great and loving is our God?!  Brittany, you too can choose to live the rest of your days glorifying God.  You were created Imago Dei (in God’s image) and He loves you and desires you to be saved.  Suicide will not prevent your pain and suffering if you are not right with God.  Sadly, it will only expedite the process and you will find yourself at odds with the Holy Judge of the universe where he will find you guilty and toss you into the lake of fire.  Does that not concern you?  It concerns me!  I don’t want you to end up in Hell, Brittany.

I realize you will likely never read this letter and I realize that if by God’s grace you do, you may reject it.  Just think to yourself please, what do I have to gain here?  What possible ulterior motives could I have?  By your own admission you will likely be gone from this Earth within a month’s time.  All I’m asking as that you please consider what I said seriously and find a Bible and open it up to the Gospel of John (the 4th book in the New Testament) and read it for yourself.  None of us is good, Brittany, but Jesus Christ paid the fine for our sin on the cross.  God gave his son’s life so that you and I, no good sinners, would have eternal life with Him in Heaven.  It is the greatest act of love in the history of the world.

I beg of you to please at least read that book of the Bible.  If you then choose to ignore it, may God have mercy on your soul.  If He opens your heart and eyes to be receptive, then I will rejoice with my sister in Christ one day in Heaven!  You matter Brittany.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.  Please do not destroy that which you did not create.

If you want to know more, or if by this point you just want to send me hate mail, please at least visit the “Are You Saved?” portion of my website at the following link:  Just know that in order to be saved you must repent of your sins and put your unwavering trust and faith in Jesus Christ (much like you trust a parachute).

Mrs. Maynard, my family, my church family, and I will be praying for you diligently.  We love you Brittany and we hope you come to know the Truth and spend eternity with us in Paradise.

In Christ’s Holy and Glorious name,
Landon Chapman

I implore you to please pray for this woman and her family.  Please pray that she and they might come to saving faith and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that when she meets her Creator in the near future, she will be covered by the blood of Christ and be presented righteous in the sight of the Lord.

JesusOnlyWayIf it is in God’s sovereign and providential will that she read it and that he has opened her heart to be receptive, I pray that what I write to her will be used in some small way to be the catalyst which provokes her to penitent faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Regardless if from me or another, I pray with all earnestness that Mrs. Maynard hear the Gospel message and be regenerated.  If that were to be the case, oh how I long to be in her shoes as she will be in the presence of our might Creator and our glorious savior.

Please keep in mind that while this is a tragic situation, it did not surprise God.  He was not caught off-guard at this woman’s illness and impending death.  Rather, in his providence, he is working this and all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Do you know the answer to the biggest question?  Where will you go when you die?  Please visit the “Are You Saved?” page here on and learn what it means to be saved and what true, Biblical saving faith looks like.

Landon Chapman

Landon Chapman

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Founder of Entreating Favor, writer, and host of the Fire Away! podcast. He is an architect by vocation and professes the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant, Word of God. He and his wife Holly have two children.