Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion O. J. Brigance, Who Was Diagnosed With ALS, Speaks Out Against Maryland’s Assisted Suicide Bill

(SCREENGRAB: O.J. BRIGANCE) Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance testifies before the Maryland Senate in opposition to physician-assisted suicide legislation on March 10, 2015 in Annapolis, Md.
(SCREENGRAB: O.J. BRIGANCE)
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance testifies before the Maryland Senate in opposition to physician-assisted suicide legislation on March 10, 2015 in Annapolis, Md.

As a number of states are considering right-to-die legislation, a retired Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion linebacker, who is now battling the debilitating and fatal disease known as ALS, decried a Maryland physician-assisted suicide bill, saying it would rob society of “God given” life.

Forty-five-year-old O.J. Brigance, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2000, testified last Tuesday before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing on the state’s new “death with dignity” bill. The bill would make it legal for patients prognosed with six months or less left to live, who are mentally competent, to ask their doctor for life-ending medication.

“Every day, every hour, every minute, every second is God given and valuable,” Brigance told lawmakers. “To enact this legislation would [risk] lives and possible future contributions of Marylanders.”

Brigance, who is now confined to a wheelchair and needs a computerized machine to talk and a ventilator to breathe after battling ALS for the last eight years, explained that people are still capable of life-changing contributions to society even though they are facing inevitable and painful deaths. He added that allowing individuals to take their own lives would be a “tragedy.”

“Since being diagnosed, I have done greater good for society in eight years than my previous 37 years on earth,” Brigance asserted. “I don’t know how many days I have left to live but everyone has a purpose. The thought that there would be a legal avenue for an individual to take their own life in a moment of despair, robbing family, friends and society of their presence and contribution to society deeply saddens me and is a tragedy.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith

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