Brittany Maynard, the cancer patient who received national attention over her plan to kill herself under Oregon’s assisted suicide law on November 1 has taken her own life. That’s despite the fact thatcancer patients and pro-life groups have tried to talk her out of the decision.
The Portland Oregonian newspaper first reported that Brittany died Sunday afternoon after taking her own life with legally-prescribed lethal drugs. People magazine confirmed her death an hour later in a news report.
“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,” Brittany wrote on Facebook. “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 best as I type …. Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
Her death comes despite her decision last week to postpone her suicide — with Maynard telling CBS that it “doesn’t seem like the right time now” to 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,” Maynard said late last week in that interview. “But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”
The Portland Oregonian has more, and relies on multiple comments from Maynard’s family and friends on her official Facebook page who indicate she had taken her life:
Numerous Facebook posts by relatives and friends indicate Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill 29-year-old who has said she moved to Oregon to use the Death with Dignity Act, has died.
The Oregonian is attempting to confirm details. Messages began populating Facebook pages and Twitter accounts this afternoon. But we have not yet independently verified that Maynard has died.
Sisters Summer Holmes-Phillips and Erica Holmes-Kremitzki posted on their Facebook page that their “aunt, uncle, and Dan” are saying goodbye to Brittany.
“She will live on in our hearts and I will continue to share her message, just as I promised her I would,” posted Holmes-Kremitzki. “Fly with the angels, Brittany. I know you’ll watch over us all.”
She also posted that Maynard was not set on dying on Nov. 1, “but as her condition worsened and the tumor took over control, it became increasingly more difficult for her to function. One comfort, is that she was able to make the choice to end her suffering before she was unable to function at all. That’s what SHE wanted.”
Advocacy group Compassion & Choices spokesman Sean Crowley on Sunday afternoon said he could not confirm Maynard’s death “in respecting the family’s wishes.”
He added that Maynard “is educating a whole new generation on this issue. She is the most natural spokesperson I have ever heard in my life. The clarity of her message is amazing. She is getting people to consider this issue who haven’t thought of it before. She’s a teacher by trade and, she’s teaching the world.”
Written by Steven Ertelt
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