29-Year-Old Cancer Patient to Die With Dignity
On November 1st, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard has decided that she will die.
Maynard has glioblastoma multiform (GBM), a prognosis that so severe that most only live for an additional 14 or 15 months. Maynard was first diagnosed with grade II astrocytoma, a tumor that allows for 10 years at best, but very quickly her condition turned for the worst.
Facing the possibility of months of pain and futile treatments, Maynard has instead opted for assisted suicide. Right after her husband’s birthday, on October 31st, Maynard has planned to pass away.
Maynard chose this date because she wanted to be able to celebrate her husband’s birthday before she passed on. Although these days waiting will undoubtedly be painful, she wants her memories to be truly happy and joyous ones, with the man that she loves.
Such a decision is allowed under death-with-dignity laws, by which terminally ill patients are granted access to options that can quickly and painlessly end their lives. These laws are enacted in order to alleviate the pain of those in unquestionably terrible conditions, and allow their remaining days to be in relative comfort.
Most states, however, do not possess such laws. In fact California, where she used to live, has no such death-with-dignity laws. The only states that currently do are Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington.
Maynard, however, is fighting that. She has been spending her remaining days speaking for death-with-dignity laws in other states, as well as spreading cancer awareness.