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This 29-year-old US woman chose to DIE

November 04, 2014 08:23 IST
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“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more.

“The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type. Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

This was 29-year-old terminal cancer sufferer Brittany Maynard’s final message before she took medication to end her life under Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act”.

Brittany Maynard with her dog. Photograph: Courtesy of Compassion and choices.
 

Brittany Maynard stuck by her decision. A 29-year-old terminal cancer sufferer who had previously spoken of her right to die ended her own life surrounded by her family.

According to friends and family of Brittany Maynard, she passed away in her Portland, Oregon, home after her condition worsened and the tumour took over.

Brittany Maynard at her wedding. Photograph: Courtesy of Compassion and choices.
 

The young woman became the face of the ‘death with dignity’ movement when she relocated to Oregon and announced plans to take her own life.

Maynard was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer and in April doctors gave her just six months to live.

After her diagnosis, she had to live with frequent seizures, head and neck pain and stroke-like sensations and very often she would lose her ability to speak.

In her situation, she along with her husband decided that she didn’t want agonizing pain, nightmarish hospital trips and hence she made the painful yet emotional decision of death with dignity.

Brittany Maynard with her parents and husband at the Grand Canyon, one of the items off her bucket list. Photograph: Courtesy of Compassion and choices.
 

Before her timed demise, she ticked off her final item on her bucket list by visiting the Grand Canyon.

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

More than 750 people in Oregon used the law to die as of December 31, 2013. The median age of the deceased was 71. Only six were younger than 34, like Maynard.

Four other states – Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico –  also allow patients to seek aid in dying. 

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