In October Brittany Maynard became the public face of the right-to-die movement when a video she made in conjunction with advocacy organisation Compassion & Choices went viral. The young woman ended her life on Saturday. She was aged 29. She married her husband two years ago.
On New Year’s Day this year Brittany was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. The diagnosis was terminal and she was told nothing could be done to save her. Brittany’s last few months saw her embrace the short life she had left. She travelled to the ice fields of Alaska and spent time with her loved ones and pet dogs. She also decided that she was going to die with dignity. She moved from her home State of California to Portland, Oregon where terminally ill patients can choose when to die as opposed to lingering suffering. Oregon is one of five states that authorizes death with dignity. (Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico are the other four.)
Her obituary on thebrittanyfund.org paints her as a woman brimming with positivity and hope. You can read more about Brittany and the campaign she brought worldwide attention to here.
Brittany wrote on Facebook before she died, “Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more. The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun