Death with dignity: Brittany Maynard ticks off last item on bucket list

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Married for a year, Brittany Maynard, 29, found she had aggressive brain cancer. She had six months to live, and she didn't want her family to watch her dying in pain. Maynard and her family moved to Oregon to take advantage of the Death with Dignity law.

(CNN) — Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life November 1, has checked the last item off her bucket list.

She visited the Grand Canyon last week.

“The Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful,” she wrote on her website, “and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature.”

Photos showed her and her husband standing on the edge of the canyon, hugging and kissing.

But her cancer reasserted itself.

“Severe headaches and neck pain are never far away, and unfortunately the next morning I had my worst seizure thus far,” she wrote on her website. “My speech was paralyzed for quite a while after I regained consciousness, and the feeling of fatigue continued for the rest of the day.”

Maynard, 29, had been married a year when she discovered she had an aggressive brain cancer.

Last April, doctors said she had six months to live. She considered dying in a hospice, she wrote in an op-ed piece for CNN.

“I quickly decided that death with dignity was the best option for me and my family,” she wrote for CNN. “We had to uproot from California to Oregon, because Oregon is one of only five states where death with dignity is authorized.”

Maynard posted YouTube videos in which she and family members talked about her decision and supported an expansion of assisted suicide laws. She started an organization, Compassion and Choices, to promote that idea.

“My dream is that every terminally ill American has access to the choice to die on their own terms with dignity,” she wrote on her website

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11 comments

  • MJ Brewer

    This is a terrible situation to which I cannot reply accurately, as I’ve not been here. However, I do know I would take Brittany’s option as well, when there is no cure and the only other option is an expensive and deteriorating death. Thank goodness she is aware enough she’s been able to plan and do a tiny bit of planning for the small amount of freedom she is allowed.

    • Finny Wiggen

      Expensive? Based on what logic? Dying is the one thing in life that is absolutely free. She can choose expensive treatments, but they are not required.

      Her choice is pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. There is no dignity in suicide, period. I realize that you will be inclined to think me narrow minded, and that is fine. Unfortunately we now live in a world, where it is considered poor form to state the facts as they exist, out of fear that we may offend.

      This woman is a coward. period.

    • miles (dave)

      finny sometimes im pron to agree with you but in this case your comments are not only narrow minded like you said but very unhealthy.

      i have a great appreciation for life. i could go on and on about the importance of life no matter your train of thought about it. but even with my thuro understanding i can still imagine a situation where the decision to let go makes seance. heck i believe its possible the vast majority of people on there death beds make a conscious decision to let go.

      i cant say if i would encourage brittany to go through with her decision. i know if i were her friend i would like to have a conversation about how i view life and how that view has brought me much happiness and success and i would encourage her to adopt my view only because i believe it would bring her the same as it brought me. part of that conversation would be me sharing the purposes of life i have found and encouraging her to adopt them in the hopes that she would add them to her bucket list to encourage her to do those things that have brought me even more happiness and success. but also part of that conversation would be me listening to her, trying to understand why this is her decision, and i would do that because i have found that when i take the time to understand the reasons people do what they do it makes me more compassionate, more understanding, and it brings me more into alignment with that which is right and good.

      • Finny Wiggen

        I don’t disagree with you Miles (Dave). I have no idea how I would react in this situation. I might also take the cowardly way out if faced with a similar situation. But I would do so quietly, and would admit that I was acting like a coward. I would not seek to glorify an action which is cowardly.

        We all have moments of weakness. How we act in those moments is a personal thing. Regardless, it is not courageous to take your own life. It is cowardly and pathetic.

        Not something you celebrate, broadcast, or encourage.

    • miles (dave)

      {this is a reply to your comment which starts I don’t disagree with you Miles (Dave).} i have a theory that you might be a person of reason so lets find out. what reasons do you have for saying you think she is being a coward…

      like i said in my last post i cant say what she is doing is best, mostly because i dont have the details needed to make a appropriate judgement on the situation. before when i read the story i imagined she may have been in a lot of pain etc. but i still cant imagine she is taking the idea of killing her self lightly but i would still be interested in having that conversation i talked about in my last post.

      sure im a bigger fan of hearing a story where she was ok to die from her illness which gives her emotional licance to go fight as hard as possible to earn the money or do the research whatever it takes to try to save her self but if she dosnt in time then she would be ok dieing from it…. now thats a story that i would prefer to hear also thats what i would want my story to sound like. also im not so sure ending her own life is what is best as a matter of fact im thinking chances are its not best but i dont know but i do know that i take peoples decision like this seriously and when something like this which i dont understand very well and i think is this important then i do my best to take the time to get educated and ponder on it. my real concern is i think you have judged way too quickly, or maybe you do understand this situation better than i do and if thats the case than im hoping you will provide a great list of reasons you think she is cowardly

  • Lynn

    While I personally don’t agree with your rationale (Life/Death is in God’s hands)…What I don’t understand is if you are not feeling ill right now, what is the rush? You could have some time to enjoy your husband, family, friends, why not stick around knowing your option to move to Oregon and make a final choice to end our life (to spare the pain/agony of your illness). I totally understand your choice, but everything I’ve seen on line (FB, Yahoo, Bing, etc) you look great so why not hold off on “leaving this earth” until you feel terrible. Give yourself a bit more time, while you feel good. (maybe what is showing on media is not an accurate portrayal of how you really are, so forgive me if I am misinformed). I just think you should stay and let life takes it course. (the option is always available)

  • patricia cole

    You are very brave and I so agree humans are more compassionate to animals. Our animals get sick we take them to vet and euthanize them. We don’t let them suffer. We as humans should be able to make the decision also concerning our own lives..I applaud you may God be with you…

  • Pamela

    This is an terrible situation and I myself see the suffering she will go thru as I have been around Hospice and the pain and sadness of families are heartbreaking. I pray the journey she choices leads her to GODS hands… You are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Wagner Yamanaka

    Good night. Visit site avelos.com.br – city of Bom Jardim, state of Pernambuco – Brazil. Handles syrup avelos against cancer. Stay with God.

  • my2cents

    FinnyWiggen tell me you’re joking? Dying is free? Funerals are free? You can’t even dispose of a body for free(not that this is the case) Cremation is the least expensive option and is far from free! The Medical examiner’s office must be notified of the death and the body must be removed from the home if she dies at home and an Autopsy must be done, Not Free! Medical bills are ridiculous, but I forgot you opted for her to suffer needlessly so I’m leaving those out of it. I have no freaking clue what you are taking about with your “considered poor as it is from state to state and that we may offend” Were you trying to make a point with all of that?

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