Brittany Maynard, who became the face of 'right-to-die' movement over the past few weeks, ended her life on Saturday at her home in Portland, Oregon. She was 29 when she decided to end her suffering. She had been battling terminal brain cancer.
In an emotional farewell note she wrote on Facebook before she died, she said: "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".
Who is Brittany Maynard?
Maynard was given about six months to live earlier this year by doctors after she was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer –widely reported as a likely stage 4 gliobastoma. She made headlines around the world when she announced her intention to die – under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.
She moved to Oregon and announced her decision to take her life by having a fatal dose of barbiturates, prescribed to her by a doctor, when her suffering became too extreme.
"My gliobalstoma is going to kill me and that's out of my control," she told People magazine last month. Right-to-die advocates credited her with bringing new zeal and energy into a movement that has remained static for long.
"For people to argue against this choice for sick people really seems evil to me," she had said last month. "They try to mix it up with suicide and that's really unfair, because there's not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying."
On 6 October, she launched an online video campaign with an end-of-life choice advocacy organisation called "Compassion & Choices. She laid out her intention to expand the death with dignity laws nationwide.
Maynard has said that she had begun thinking about death with dignity in January – when she was first diagnosed with the deadly disease -- a brain tumour. Doctors had managed to remove as much of the tumour as possible, but it came back larger than ever two months later, she said. After much deliberation, she also made it clear that chemotherapy or radiation was not one of her options.
Maynard spend the last months of her life making the most of the time she had left, People magazine notes. She visited Alaska, British Colombia and Yellowstone National park with her family and loved ones and explored famous tourist attractions like Olympic National Park in Washington.