Memorial service for local public figure who opposed doctor-assisted suicide

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  – The debate over doctor-assisted suicide returned to Colorado this weekend.

On Saturday, thousands gathered at a memorial service to honor a local woman who became a national figure.

Kara Tippetts’ name soared to popularity when she took a stance against assisted suicide. Her target was Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill cancer patient who wanted to end her own life.

Maynard ultimately ended her life back in November with the help of a doctor. Tippetts, who was also a terminally ill cancer patient, lost her own battle this past Sunday.

“She’s a friend to many of us” said Mark Bates, a Pastor who spoke before a crowd at Tippetts’ memorial.

Tippets found faith through friendship and felt if she had reached out to someone she thought was in need of guidance and approached them as a friend… well, then perhaps she could sway that person’s opinion.

In this case, Tippetts thought that person was Maynard. In one carefully crafted letter, urging Maynard not to end her life early, Tippets became a national idol for groups opposing people who want to end their lives through medical assistance.

Tippets told Maynard, “Dear heart, we simply disagree… in your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you”.

Despite any pleas, Maynard moved forward with her own decision and ended her life in November 2014. This past Sunday, Tippetts lost her battle. At Tippetts’ memorial service, friends and family honored her strength.

“She has made quite an impact on many people’s lives even before she was facing cancer just for her love for Christ, her love for her family, her love for people,” said Bates.

A recent Pew survey shows Americans are pretty much split on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide. The poll shows 47% approve and 49% disapprove.