California Woman Facing Terminal Cancer Moves To Oregon So She Can End Her Life
OREGON (CBS13) - Brittany Maynard will die on Nov. 1.
It's a choice the 29-year-old moved from California to Oregon to make, as she's dying of brain cancer. She made the move to put the end of her life on her own terms.
Maynard says she doesn't want to die, but since her terminal illness isn't giving her a choice, she will leave the Earth the way she chooses, and she wants other to have the same choice.
She was diagnosed with the malignant brain cancer in January. Doctors gave her a prognosis of six months to live.
"After getting married is when I first started getting headaches and they were quite severe and I didn't understand them because I'd never had anything like that," she said. "Right when I was diagnosed my husband and I were actively trying for a family which is heartbreaking for us both."
Faced with few options in her home state of California, she chose to move her family to Oregon. It's one of five states that has passed the Death With Dignity Act allowing terminal patients like Maynard to get a prescription for pills that will end their pain, their suffering, and their life.
For Brittany, she has chosen Nov. 1.
"I plan to be surrounded by my immediate family my mother, my stepfather my husband and my best friend who is a physician," she said. "I will die upstairs in the bedroom I share with my husband and pass peaceful with music that I love in the background."
It's a decision and an option that's sparking debate across the country. A similar rule called the Compassionate Choices Act was defeated in 2005 and 2006 in California.
"Assisted suicide is the wrong answer to the question we should be asking which is care and options and treatment palliative care and hospice and those kinds of things," said Tim Rosales, a spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide.
Others point out that her choice of becoming an advocate in this debate has moved the issue to the mainstream with her powerful message.
"She's actively engaged in orchestrating the end of her life in a way that is consistent with her values and her priorities in a way that she can't, it seems, in California," said UC Davis bioethics professor Ben Rich.
New Mexico, Vermont, Montana and Washington also have death with dignity laws.
Maynard plans on giving California lawmakers recorded testimony in her effort to get California and other states on that list.
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