Newlywed dying of cancer chooses to kill herself, has family's support

At only 29 years old, Brittany Maynard was faced with the worst diagnosis possible. Days after her dream wedding, she was experiencing painful and debilitating headaches and the doctors said she had brain cancer. Devastated by the news, Brittany, her husband and family started planning for the few years she had left.

A second screening determined that her cancer evolved into stage four and she had only a few months left to live. Shocked by the turn of events, she moved to Oregon and applied for Death with Dignity and she is choosing her own death.


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This story is incredibly sad! Literally from one moment to the next Brittany was told her life was ending. At first she was diagnosed with grade II Astrocytoma which is a severe brain tumor and patients only have a few years to live. Getting around that diagnostic was hard for her and her family and they didn't know that things were about to get worse. The second screening showed that her cancer had progressed into Glioblastoma multiforme, which is stage four cancer and after treatment patients only have few months to live. Devastating! When we are sick, we always want to hear that things are getting better and not worse.

Doctors said that death from that type of cancer was slow and painful. Brittany knew she didn't want to die that way in front of her family so she chose to move to Oregon, which is one of the five states in the country where assisted suicide is legal. Brittany is choosing to die on November first which is the day after her husband's birthday. She will die upstairs in the bedroom she shares with her husband by taking a set of medications prescribed by her physician. Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was passed in 1997 and since then 750 people have died using the medication.

Very few patients have the opportunity to choose their own death and Brittany and her family created a foundation to help terminally ill patients to die with dignity. The Brittany Maynard Fund had partnered with Life-rights advocacy organization Compassion & Choices to change the law in other states. Some people find this type of dying wrong, but for others is the best way to end the life of a loved one. Brittany is spending her last days traveling and soaking up life before she departs peacefully in twenty three days.

Image via Brittany Maynard/The Brittany Maynard Fund

Topics: cancer  controversy  health