On November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard’s husband assisted his wife in committing suicide. It sounds gruesome, but husband Dan Diaz claims it was more an act of compassion. Brittany, only 29-years-old, had terminal brain cancer.
The illness started out with extremely painful headaches. Concerned, Maynard visited the doctor and learned that she had stage 2 glioblastoma multiforme. The survival rate for this condition was estimated at about 10 years.
Life News reports that, after surgery, Maynard and her husband found out that she had a much deadlier form of cancer: stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme. This devastating news brought along another shocker for the couple. Brittany was given only a few months to live.
Right away, her husband granted her wishes and moved Brittany out from their home in California to Oregon so she would have access to the Death with Dignity Act. This law allows doctors to prescribe lethal medications to terminally ill patients. Brittany’s husband knew this would allow her to choose the time of death, in the comfort of her own home.
Maynard’s husband now speaks out about the details surrounding her final moments. According to People, she suffered a small seizure early that morning, and being a caring husband, Dan encouraged her to sleep in. He speaks of spending a lovely day hiking with his wife and their dogs. That evening, they gathered together at home with family for Brittany’s final moments.
“She was surrounded by the people who loved her and her passing was peaceful. Brittany’s symptoms were bad and they were getting worse. She did what was right for her and avoided needless suffering and a tortuous death.”
Her husband says he made a promise to her that he would lobby for the California law to pass the Death with Dignity Act. That is why he speaks about her last days. Diaz speaks out in an interview on the Meredith Vieira Show.
Dan Diaz shares the final days of his wife #BrittanyMaynard as she decided to end her life on her own terms after struggling with cancer
— Meredith Vieira Show (@MeredithShow) January 14, 2015
This situation brings to mind another man who believed in assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a medical pathologist, was widely known in the late 20th century as a promoter of this type of “act of compassion.” He assisted in the deaths of many people riddled with painful disease. The topic was highly controversial at the time, and Dr. Kevorkian was charged with second-degree murder in 1999 and sentenced to jail time.
As a related article in the New York Times states, Dr. Kevorkian’s initial assisted suicide took place in Oregon, the same state in which Maynard and her husband relocated.
As her husband speaks out about their final days, what are your thoughts? Did Brittany Maynard’s husband do the right thing?
[Image via Roma Daily News]