In just three days, terminally ill cancer patient, Brittany Maynard plans to kill herself under Oregon’s assisted suicide law. But, in a new interview, Maynard indicated she may not take her life after all.
Oregon is one of five states, along with New Mexico, Montana, Washington , and Vermont, that allow assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act passed in 1997 and has allowed for 1,173 prescriptions, with 752 deaths resulting from access of the medication.
Brittany plans to take the lethal pill on November 1st to end her own life. After suffering from severe headaches, Brittany Maynard found out she had stage II glioblastoma multiforme and had up to ten years to live. However, after she had surgery, doctors found out that she had the most deadly form of brain cancer, stage IV glioblastoma multiforme. The cancer usually kills its victims in a matter of months.
After her diagnosis, Brittany decided that she wanted to move from her California home to Oregon so that she could have access to the “death with dignity” prescription. She plans to die in her home surrounded by her mother, stepfather, husband and best friend.
However, in a new interview with CBS News, Maynard said she now wants to see how the disease progresses.
Before her planned death, she wanted to visit the Grand Canyon with her family. On October 24th, five days before she reportedly plans to take her own life, she visited the Grand Canyon and wrote the following on her website:
“This week, my family and I traveled to the Grand Canyon, thanks to the kindness of Americans around the country who came forward to make my “bucket list” dream come true. The Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful, and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature.
Sadly, it is impossible to forget my cancer. Severe headaches and neck pain are never far away, and unfortunately the next morning I had my worst seizure thus far. My speech was paralyzed for quite a while after I regained consciousness, and the feeling of fatigue continued for the rest of the day.
The seizure was a harsh reminder that my symptoms continue to worsen as the tumor runs its course. However, I find meaning and take pride that the Compassion & Choices movement is accelerating rapidly, thanks to supporters like you. I ask that you please continue to support C&C’s state-by-state efforts to make death-with-dignity laws available to all Americans. My dream is that every terminally ill American has access to the choice to die on their own terms with dignity. Please take an active role to make this a reality. The person you’re helping may be someone you love, or even in the future, yourself.”
As LifeNews previously reported, many have asked Brittany to reconsider her decision. However, she has made it clear that this is what she is planning to do. Brittany wrote, “As my time draws closer, I hope you will all take up my request to carry on this work, and support [my family and friends] as they carry on my legacy. 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. Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind,” she wrote. “I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”
As the days draw closer to November 1st, many are praying for Brittany. According to Christian Today, a priest set from Boston, Father Tony Medeiros, set up Facebook page for her called ‘We Love Brittany Maynard.‘ He wanted her to know that she was “not alone, that there were so many, many people praying for her, holding her in their hearts.”
“Brittany, each one of us is a person, and to be a person means that you are given a role in the drama of life where one is told to play a king, another a princess, another a doctor, and still another a soldier. The drama that unfolds before our eyes hinges on each one of us playing a “role,” a role that you did not give to yourself, but was given to you by God, the great Director. We are all connected, and we all depend on each other for the outcome of this play. If one of the actors is a no show…his or her absence leaves an irreparable emptiness in the play – and another actor cannot just replace him, without risking not being at his place to play his part! If you are a soldier, you will play the soldier; if you are a princess, you will play the princess, but we do not choose our role: you did not choose to be a 29 year old wife affected by terminal brain cancer, but this is how you now enter the stage of your life. This is the script of the role that was assigned to you by God, the great Director of the play, and how you play your role has a tremendous impact on everybody else around you.
Brittany, you have received a very important “role” in this play and, like it or not, the spotlight is on you right now. There are countless people, both actors on stage and people just watching in the audience, following you on television, talking about it on the streets, discussing it in classrooms, pondering it in the halls of Congress, all of us watching to see how the plot unfolds.
Like a Shakespearean play, where the audience for the most part is familiar with the story, we too know certain things about your script: your love for life, your aspirations to form a family and to have children; your passion for beauty and for adventure; your devotion to the people that are important to you – your mother, your husband; your dedication to your job, etc., but there are others that keep us in suspense, such as, how you will deal with your suffering and pains, how will you will answer to the doubts of the darkest nature that will visit you these days, how you will deal with shattered dreams and the agony of trying to prevent your loved ones from suffering, etc.: these may be unknown to us at this time, but they are all already written in the script you have received from God, the great Director.
Brittany, please read the script carefully and stick to it. As actors that are especially picked for a role, God must have seen some pretty powerful qualities in you to give you this incredibly important role, one for which you have trained very hard (even if you were not aware!) and for a very long time (29 years!). Now is the moment for you to act and tell us what you are meant to be.
Each day counts and the closer we come to November 1st, the greater our hope that you will carpe diem and recant the public announcement you made about the date and manner of your death. All of us can assure you that that part is certainly not on the script that you have received from God. That’s privileged information that the Director never gives out to anyone. So, please give glory to God and tell us the truth, say that you are not well, that you are dying, but not yet. In fact, tell us not to hold our breaths, until you yourself have completely run out of breath. Remember, there’s power in pain, dignity in suffering, and there is no bravery in removing yourself from the drama of life before you have finished your part, before you have played your role to the end.”
He concluded, “Brittany…don’t leave us before you have recited all your lines, the part that God wrote specifically for you.”
Sean O’Malley, the Catholic Archbishop of Boston supports the initiative and said, “We want to hold her up in our prayers and encourage people to pray for her and to send messages of support so that she realizes that she is not alone in her suffering and hopefully will come to see that ending her life is not the solution.”