A terminally ill woman who chose to end her life after being diagnosed with a painful and fatal brain cancer has died, Compassion & Choices confirmed on Sunday.
Brittany Maynard, 29, moved to Oregon to exercise her right under the “Death with Dignity Act,” which allows people to choose to die with medication. Earlier this year, Maynard was diagnosed with gliobastoma multiforme, a progressive brain tumor with an average life expectancy of 14 months, Fox News reported.
Maynard sparked a national debate when she became an advocate for death with dignity laws in her last weeks. She was surrounded by family when she took lethal medication prescribed by a doctor on Saturday, as she planned, CBS News reported.
Despite surgery and other treatments, Maynard was given only months to live. She moved to Oregon from California with her husband to use the state’s Death with Dignity Act.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Sean Crowley” author_title=”Compassion & Choices”]
Brittany suffered increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms. She died as she intended — peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones.
Just last week, Maynard said she was considering postponing her death and that she crossed off one item on her “bucket list:” seeing the Grand Canyon.
Last month, Maynard released an emotional video for Compassion & Choices explaining her illness and decision to end her life. This video has received over 9 million views on YouTube, ABC News reported.
Oregon was the first state to allow doctors to legally prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients of sound mind who made the request. Patients must be able to swallow the medication without assistance, as it is illegal for a doctor to administer the medication.
Over 750 people in Oregon have used the law, as of December 31, 2013. The median age of the deceased is 71, and only six have been younger than 35.