Terminally ill Brittany Maynard ends her life, according to report

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Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who said she had terminal brain cancer and would take medication to end her life under Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act,” has died, advocacy group Compassion & Choices said in a Facebook post Sunday.

“Brittany chose to make a well thought out and informed choice to Die With Dignity in the face of such a terrible, painful, and incurable illness,” a post on her website said. “She moved to Oregon to pass away in a little yellow house she picked out in the beautiful city of Portland.”

In its Facebook post, Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy group that has been working closely with Maynard, said she “passed peacefully in her bed surrounded by close family and loved ones.”

The post contained a final message from Maynard, who expressed a note of deep thanks to all of her supporters, whom she “sought out like water” during her life and illness.

“It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world! Love and peace to you all,” she said.

Maynard graduated from University of California, Berkeley, and earned a Masters in Education from University of California, Irvine, according to the post. She was a world traveler who volunteered at a local animal rescue organization before her diagnosis and lived 29 years of “generosity, compassion, education, travel, and humor,” the post said.

Maynard is survived by her husband and his family, her mother and stepfather.

“While she had longed for children of her own, she left this world with zero regrets on time spent, places been, or people she loved in her 29 years,” the post said.

Maynard’s story spread rapidly on social media as a video explaining her choice garnered more than 9 million views on YouTube.

She became a prominent spokeswoman for the “death with dignity” movement, which advocates that terminally ill patients be allowed to receive medication that will let them die on their own terms. She also became a lightning rod for criticism from people who oppose that approach.

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

In a video released last week, Maynard said she hadn’t yet decided when she would end her life.

“I still feel good enough, and I still have enough joy, and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough 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 said in the video, which was produced by Compassion & Choices and released to CNN last Wednesday.

Maynard said she had stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer.

When she first started speaking out about her decision, Maynard said that in early November she planned to take the medication she’d been prescribed. In her latest video, she said she was waiting to see how her symptoms progress before deciding on a date.

But taking too long to make that choice was one of her greatest fears, Maynard said.

“The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long because I’m trying to seize each day,” she says, “but I somehow have my autonomy taken away from me by my disease, because of the nature of my cancer.”

 

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37 comments

  • scrambler71

    Now the other day she said she would not end her life on Saturday because she was still feeling good. WHich report is correct? And HOW did she end her life? Kevorkian-style (by anesthetic basically) or some other method?

    • farfallealfredo

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out later this was all a publicity stunt. She rode out her 15 minutes of fame and here we are.

      • Cassie

        LM, the dim bulb you are. Given the culture of death we live in, it’s not surprising so many of you are happy for her. Taking the so called easy way out is not bravery. Yes, she was cowardly and yes she gave in to despair. One of the worst things a person can allow to happen to them. God help her. I hope she’s not rotting hell for what she did. However the so called “Compassionate Choices” people will probably rot in hell for what they’re promoting. How unbelievably sick is all of this and it’s sick to applaud such a ghastly thing to do. God help you. You people are sicker than the woman who killed herself.

      • Brian

        Talk about a dim bulb Cassie. Believing there is some magical guy in the sky is a joke. If there is a god I’d rather live in hell. This asshat god you speak of is a joke along with your opinion. Your the sick one with your absurd remarks. What happened to thou shall not judge. If there is a hell (which is all just part of the ridiculous story of god) your going as well for your judgment. Read Matthew about getting heaven. Do you know what it’s like to have a terminal illness? No, that’s what I thought. Well I do and when the time comes I will do the same. So you should shut your mouth because you know nothing, nothing you airhead.

    • Joe

      You talk of being a coward yet you hide behind a fictitious name. She obviously had more strength than you because she didn’t hide her decision. You are the lowest of the scum on this planet. Your right to speech should be denied because you can’t say anything worth hearing.

      • Cassie

        I’ll bet you celebrate diversity, too. Can’t stand opinions contrary to yours. If people don’t agree with you then they should be silenced. Nothing like open minded liberals spewing hate.

      • Jane Doe (@IslandBreeze69)

        She is a coward for taking the easy way out, ignorant moron. You’re also a coward too because you support such a crazy backwards organization to advocate this outrageous crap. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had terminal cancer and took the coward way out too. She should have never done that. She wasn’t brave for not facing her terminal cancer until the end. She said she isn’t “committing suicide” by doing this which is downright crazy. She did. When a person takes pills, shoots themselves, hangs themselves etc to end their life that means they have committed suicide no matter how you put it or what you have. It doesn’t matter she had terminal cancer because she was the one who killed herself. She was in denial and she sugar coated such a backwards insane act, She was so selfish to end her life and not live with the terminal brain cancer and be with her family longer. I don’t feel sorry for her now because she did this. I was sorry for her at first and I hoped she backed out of this, I am angry she did this and I am angry at all the twisted people who support this atrocious thing. Society is getting worse by the day and stuff like this needs to stop once and for all. Goodbye and good riddance.

    • severson12

      Sure one can fight terminal cancer head on with devastating and difficult procedures pls rack up millions in bills for your family to try and pay off. I don’t downsides that she ran away from her illness at all.

  • Cassie

    Very sad. This is not bravery, it’s despair. Despair is the worst thing a person can give in to. It’s giving in to evil and evil has triumphed over this poor woman. Do not applaud this, it’s sick.

    • Steve V.

      Why is it that there are those among us that can not live their own lives without the ability to control others… Cassie, may God see to it you never have Cancer, My family has had its share.. What you don’t seem to realize is that Most Cancer Patients do not really die from the Cancer but from the Morphine and other pain drugs given to keep the pain down while dying… Basically they are put to sleep.. So what are you saying, let them die in pain, or let them not choose the time of their own death? We already kill them with our compassion that they not die in pain so we demand pain relievers for them which actually ends up killing them instead.. So let them make their own choice, OK…. It’s there life not yours to decide…. Quit being so damn judgmental, that’s not your job but Gods….

    • severson12

      She is going to smoke in hell for the rest of eternity! Only God can give us the blessing of death .. Not man. If God wants her to die an terrible painful Death than God had his reasons .

    • severson12

      I think the government should have arrested her and put her to death before she decided to be so selfish and end her own life. The only people who can end your life is GOD and the Government.

      • David RR

        HAHA, only God and the government? And is the government not made up of “man”, and “man’s laws” ?? You have to be joking; considering your post above says that man cannot choose man’s death. Funny how that did not appy to the original (pre-mistranslated 2x) concept of “thou shall not murder”. Every culture in human history has distinguished murder from justifiable homicide. Moreover, you Christ-tards clinging to ‘conception to natural death’ isn’t even necessarily Christian, rather an unknowing adherence to Acquinas’ Natural Law Theory: A moral theory NOT embraced by all of Christianity.

    • severson12

      I think the government should have arrested her and put her to death before she decided to be so selfish and end her own life. The only people who can end your life is GOD and the Government.

  • Zebra Stripes

    We’re all terminal, don’t some of you people get it? Republicans would have us work until we’re not capable anymore, then pump us full of meds and let us slowly rot away along with our life savings.

    • Annie

      I think you’re right. we’re all going to die eventually and Terminal Illness doesn’t necessarily mean you will die, there’s just a high chance you will. Who’s to say that there was no chance she won’t survive.

  • Nuno

    Brittney, I’m sorry that you were given this horrible hand in life. However, I do not agree with your decision and I must say (even if this sounds mean). You are not brave, courageous nor is your choice in any way dignified. That is reserved for those that fight. Yes, it can be painful but are you more dignified than those that decide to fight and live? Are you more brave and courageous than a person who has a 1 in 10 chance of living that decides to fight? No…. Those are the real heroes, the true brave and the true courageous and without a doubt the more dignified. Suicide or assisted murder is nothing more than quitting and an act of cowardice.
    I’m sorry that this sounds so mean but to many of you are applauding this person, for taking her life -actually having her life taken. And by applauding this woman, you disregard the true fighters and the truly dignified.

  • Donald

    Nothing brave or courageous here. What this disillusioned, cowardly disgrace of a girl has done is committed suicide, plain and simple.

    Some would say her suffering is over, Some would say she will suffer for eternity. I will leave the afterlife discussions to others.

    The other thing she has done, too, is being the “face” of this movement, she has set an example. Suicide is cool. That’s what a lot of people will take away from this. Shame, scorn and derision is all that’s owed to this foolish little girl. She deserves NO SYMPATHY. I only hope this story will now die with her. Before more impressionable people do the cool thing and kill themselves.

    • severson12

      Totally agree! Girl should have been arrested by the State and put to death in a State Sanctioned way. She should have been hung or given IV drug to put her to death by the State/ She shouldn’t have done it herself! She burn in hell now forever!

      • Kathleen

        “Girl should have been arrested by the State and put to death in a State Sanctioned way. She should have been hung or given IV drug to put her to death by the State”

        You are beyond ignorant. So it’s okay for the State to kill people for being terminally ill and wanting to end their life, but a person doesn’t have the right to die with dignity. With those kind of thoughts . . . looks like you will be the one burning in hell.

  • Trish

    I am not trying to compare a human life do a pet. But when a pet is sick we have that right to take him/ her in and “put them down” so they are not suffering, so they are not in pain!!
    I lost my father in December, before that for over a year was struggling, in and out of hospitals in pain could not fight ANY longer, it was painful to watch!! PAINFUL!! And he said he did not understand when but an animal down but not a human!!
    This young lady was a very strong person!! How DARE you people call her a coward!!
    My father signed his papers DNR after 1 year of pain, struggling he held out as long as he could, he asked if wanted to go to the hospital one last time and he said NO!! We repected his wishes, he could not go on, that does not make him a coward!!!

  • Deborah

    Stop answering each
    other with such uglyness, everybody has a right to their opinion. People should explain what they mean. Not calling each names the way children often do, when they can’t think of better ways of explaining themselves.

  • San

    I think she is very brave and no she is not a coward. I would want die peacefully, where I choose, and surrounded by my family. Rather than die a horrible painful death she would have suffered for a long time had she not done this her last days should be happy, I fully souport her opinion

  • Robert Bell IV

    I agree 1000% with Ronald. Good riddance. The last thing we need is suicide rates going up. This terrible woman is burning in Hell rigght now, and will be 1000 years from now. Suicide is against God’s word and his will. I couldn’t be happier she is no longer here to corrupt others. Hope it was worth it to make a political statement.

  • Annalise

    Wow! It must be amazing to have the power to pass judgement on other human beings. When did you realize you had that God given ability? I’d just love to hear about your perfect life and how you acheived sainthood. It’s zealots like you that give Christianity a bad name.

  • Annalise

    Wow, I am simply appalled at some of the comments on here! What happened to people being kind and compassionate? Not just to a dying young woman (who’s now gone,) but to their fellow man? Who is anyone to judge how Brittany Maynard chose to end HER suffering? No one knows what another person is feeling nor do they have the right to decide what is right for someone else’s plight.
    Has anyone ever heard of Palliative Care or Comfort Care? Look them up and tell me how much those medically approved treatment options differ from that of Brittany’s.
    “Brittany Maynard should have been arrested by the State and put to death in a State Sanctioned way. She should have been hung or given IV drug to put her to death by the State.” REALLY? Are you serious? Why would you say that the state should have right to do that to a suffering, dying young woman? Because you think that is the “legal” way for her to die? Excuse me, but Brittany Maynard broke NO LAWS in the state of Oregon and certainly DID NOT deserve to be executed like a hardened criminal all because she had the misfortune of being diagnosed with a horrific, painful, life ending disease! I honestly think your comment is the most cruel, selfish, ignorant comment on this forum.
    TERMINAL ILLNESS is a disease that CANNOT be cured or adequately treated and it’s end result is the death of the patient within a short period of time! In popular terms, it indicates a disease that eventually ENDS THE LIFE OF THE SUFFERER.
    Think about this, did Brittany Maynard REALLY kill herself? Have you ever given thought to the fact that she would not have had access to the drugs that ended her life IF a physician had not written her a prescription or IF a state had not voted to approve physician assisted death? Have you ever thought that maybe the prescribing physician is a murderer rather than Brittany being a “sinner”? That maybe the state of Oregon is at fault? There are many ways to look at this tragic set of circumstances and many, many more people to blame than just one innocent person.
    Those of you who say it opened the door for people to think suicide is okay, maybe you should exhaust your hateful energy and comments towards the media outlets that made this a very public story? Write People magazine, write your local and national news offices, send messages to any media outlet that fed off of Brittany’s story. Why not use your anger in a productive way?
    And for those who are using Christian beliefs to sentence Brittany to a life of burning in hell, doesn’t the bible teach people not to judge? John 8:7 “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” OR Romans 2:1
    “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Hmmmmm…maybe you need to open the good book and remember ALL of God’s teachings?
    More than anything, Deborah on here is correct in stating “Stop answering each other with such ugliness, everybody has a right to their opinion. People should explain what they mean. Not calling each other names the way children often do when they can’t think of better ways of explaining themselves.” Kudos to you Deborah for addressing the REAL problem here.
    Just as you have the right to post all these insanely nasty, hateful, hurtful messages, Brittany Maynard had a right to make choices regarding her own impending death.
    I sincerely hope none of you are ever stricken with a terminal illness or have a beloved family member suffer the same fate as Brittany Maynard.