By Ellen Kolb
I doubt that Maggie Karner rang in the new year thinking she was going to be asked to speak at a conference against assisted suicide. She probably didn’t foresee the suicide of Brittany Maynard or the very well-publicized media campaign that went along with it. She certainly didn’t expect to be diagnosed with a brain tumor. Yet there she was in front of me at the recent East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide, speaking quietly but without hesitation.
She’s as compelling a speaker in person as she is in her now-famous video message to Maynard, made in an unsuccessful attempt to dissuade Maynard from suicide. As conference host Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said after her presentation, “Maggie is a gift for us.” That “us” goes far beyond the people who were in the room at the time.