Last year, Brittany Maynard made national headlines with her decision to die via assisted suicide. Although she completed the procedure on November 1, her story will live on through her campaign to allow others to die with dignity.
On New Year’s Day 2014, the 29-year-old woman was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Although she was treated with radical surgery and radiation treatment, Maynard was eventually forced to face a grim reality. She simply was not going to recover.
In a heartbreaking commentary, published by CNN, Brittany Maynard discussed her decision to end her own life.
“There is no treatment that would save my life, and the recommended treatments would have destroyed the time I had left… even with palliative medication, I could develop potentially morphine-resistant pain and suffer personality changes and verbal, cognitive and motor loss of virtually any kind… I did not want this nightmare scenario for my family, so I started researching death with dignity… I quickly decided that death with dignity was the best option for me and my family.”
As assisted-suicide is illegal in the state of California, Brittany Maynard and her husband, Dan Diaz, were forced to move to Oregon.
In the state of Oregon, terminally ill patients are permitted to request medication to end their life. As the medication is available through a prescription, and is self-administered, patients have the freedom to choose when and where they will die.
Maynard spent her last months sharing her story in an attempt to raise awareness about assisted suicide and her decision to die with dignity. Although she touched millions of lives, and truly did raise awareness, she knew her days were numbered.
On November 1, 2013, Maynard suffered a seizure at approximately 7:00 a.m. In a recent interview with People, Diaz said the seizure was a grim “reminder of how sick she really was.”
Brittany Maynard knew it was time to go, but she wanted to spend one more day with her family and friends. Diaz said he and his wife shared breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Following breakfast, Maynard said she wanted to go on a hike.
“… so we all went and hiked,… There were eight of us total and the dogs. We went on a trail that she liked and it was a good morning.”
When they returned home, his wife again stated that she “just knew it was time.” Diaz said Maynard remained in good spirits until the very end.
Diaz said Brittany Maynard’s “passing was peaceful,” adding that “she was surrounded by the people who loved her.” Although he was heartbroken to lose is wife, Diaz said “she did what was right for her… “
[Image via Time]