Brittany Maynard, 29, has been outspoken about her decision to end her own life after her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Even after some have tried to convince her otherwise, she has announced that she will go ahead with her plans on November 1.
On Monday, she released her final public words on the matter:
“The response from you all has surpassed our wildest expectations. On behalf of my family, thank you for the outpouring of love and support,” Maynard said. “This journey has been challenging, to say the least. We’ve uprooted our lives. I take prescription drugs to reduce the swelling in my brain, that have caused my entire body to swell instead. Dan and I have given up our dreams of having a family. My mother is soon to lose her only child. We can all agree that no parent should bury their child.
“I didn’t launch this campaign because I wanted attention; in fact, it’s hard for me to process it all,” Maynard continued. “I did this because I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity, as I have had. My journey is easier because of this choice. I am so lucky to have known the love of an amazing husband (my husband Dan is a hero), a loving, caring mother, and an incredible group of friends and extended family. As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support them as they carry on my legacy. I’m so grateful to you all.”
The 29-year-old was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer and made the difficult decision to end her life on her own terms rather than suffer a slow, painful death that would be incredibly difficult for her family to cope with.
“I don’t want to die but I am dying,” Maynard told People Magazine in a recent interview. “My [cancer] is going to kill me, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So to be able to die with my family with me, to have control over my own mind, which I would stand to lose – to go with dignity is less terrifying."
Since she announced her plans to end her own life peacefully with the help of her family, people all over the world rallied around her to give her support. Still, many were outspoken in their disagreement, and one fellow cancer patient even wrote a letter to Maynard asking her not to go through with it.
“In your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you with the such tenderness, the opportunity of meeting you in your last moments and extending you love in your last breaths,” said 36-year-old Kara Tippetts in a letter to the 29-year-old, as reported by Opposing Views. “Knowing Jesus, knowing that He understands my hard goodbye, He walks with me in my dying. My heart longs for you to know Him in your dying. Because in His dying, He protected my living. My living beyond this place. Brittany, when we trust Jesus to be the carrier, protector, redeemer of our hearts, death is no longer dying. My heart longs for you to know this truth, this love, this forever living.”
Still, despite pleas from others, Maynard has announced that she will go through with ending her own life on November 1.
Doctors will reportedly give Maynard 100 capsules of a strong sedative that she will separate, dissolve in water, and drink. Maynard and her family were forced to move to Oregon in order to end her own life, as it is legal there.