Brittany Maynard may not end her life after all. At least not yes. Maynard, a 29-year-old terminally ill woman from Portland, touched off widespread debate on quality of life issues and assisted suicide when she announced earlier this month that she planned on ending her life. Fighting a cancerous brain tumor, Maynard had earmarked November 1 as the day she would leave this world. Now, in a new video message seen above, Maynard is rethinking her choice.
Writes Fox News on Oct. 29: “Maynard, who completed the last item on her bucket list—traveling to the Grand Canyon—last week, said in the video that she still felt good enough and still shared enough joy and laughter with her family and friends that ‘it doesn’t seem like the right time right now, but it will come because I feel myself getting sicker; it’s happening each week.’”
Maynard, in her video uploaded on Oct. 29, wrote: “I want to thank you for your incredible support. The outpouring of kindness that I have received since my story went public has been astounding. You’ve helped put the death-with-dignity movement in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. All across the country, lawmakers have reached out saying that they want to introduce legislation to authorize aid in dying. That is real progress towards change.”
The newlywed, married to her 42-year-old husband Dan Diaz, is a volunteer advocate for Compassion and Choices, the “nation’s leading end-of-life choice organization.” Maynard guest-authored a piece for CNN on Oct. 8, explaining that she has fought “not to prolong her life, but to end it via death with dignity.”
In April, Maynard was given approximately six months to live. With the full support of her family, she had planned to pass on the first of November. She wrote, in part: “On New Year’s Day, after months of suffering from debilitating headaches, I learned that I had brain cancer. I was 29 years old. I’d been married for just over a year. My husband and I were trying for a family.” Maynard said that doctors had recommended “full brain radiation” due to the size of her tumor. Knowing the side effects would be debilitating, and coming to terms with the fact that no treatment would save her life, she reached the conclusion that radiation treatments “would have destroyed the time I had left.”
Faced with potential months of suffering and developing a morphine resistance, she wrote: “Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”
Maynard and Diaz moved from California to Oregon – one of only five states that allow assisted suicide. Other states with “death with dignity” laws are Washington, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana, though all have various restrictions.
In her recent video, Maynard says: “So if Nov. 2 comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I’ve made, but if Nov. 2 comes along and I’m still alive, I know that we’ll just still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other and that decision will come later.”
Brittany Maynard and her quest to end her life – Sound off below: What are your thoughts on her choice?