Brittany Maynard, Death With Dignity Advocate, Dies At 29
Brittany Maynard, the woman suffering from terminal brain cancer whose choice to end her life under the Death With Dignity Act went viral, died on Saturday, Nov. 1.
Brittany Maynard: Death With Dignity
Maynard, 29, recently became an international spokesperson for aid in dying, a practice legal in five states in which a doctor prescribes life-ending medications to terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives before their diseases do it for them. In January, 2014, Maynard was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, and in April a doctor informed her she only had six months to live.
After looking into death with dignity and aid in dying, Maynard and her husband, Daniel Diaz, moved to Oregon, which passed the Death With Dignity Act in 1997. In early October, Maynard went public with her story, which quickly went viral and ignited a debate on aid in dying laws.
In multiple television appearances and interviews, Maynard maintained that she was not choosing to die – cancer chose that for her. “Cancer is ending my life. I am choosing to end it a little sooner and in a lot less pain and suffering,” Maynard told CBS This Morning.
Maynard, a UC Berkeley graduate, expressed her intention of taking the aid in death medication in early November, but in her last video posted on Oct. 29, Maynard said that she was still taking things one day at a time.
“If November 2nd comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I’ve made. And, if November 2nd comes along and I’m still alive, I know we’ll just still be moving forward, like, out of love for each other and that that decision will come later,” Maynard said in the video.
“The worse thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long because I am trying to seize each day, but that I somehow have my autonomy taken away from me by my disease because of the nature of my cancer,” Maynard said in the video.
A few days after the video was posted online, Maynard died as she had planned, surrounded by close friends and family in her Oregon home.
“While she had longed for children of her own, she left this world with zero regrets on time spent, places been, or people she loved in her 29 years,” reads her obituary.