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Image / Editorial

Watch: Why This 29-Year-Old Woman is Choosing to Die


By Jeanne Sutton
07th Oct 2014
Watch: Why This 29-Year-Old Woman is Choosing to Die

Brittany Maynard explaining her choice.

Now and then there comes along a news story that cannot help but move everyone to tears of empathy. Brittany Maynard has decided to die in 25 days, on November 1st. It is her husband’s birthday on October 30th and she wants to be there to celebrate.

In January Brittany was diagnosed with grade II astrocytoma, a deadly brain tumour. The tumour shortened her life expectancy to just ten more years at the most. As she says in the video below, ?I have to tell you, when you’re 29 years old, being told you have that kind of timeline still feels like being told you’re going to die tomorrow.” Within a few months her life expectancy had severely lessened. The brain cancer had worsened so much that she was told she had six months to live as the tumour grew and made her more and more sick. Brittany decided to take matters into her hands and opt for assisted suicide. She is now telling the world her story.

Brittany only got married last year. She spent her twenties travelling the world. Before her diagnosis she and her husband were trying for a family. After her diagnosis she moved from San Francisco to Oregon, which is one of five US states that allows assisted suicide. She’s been making the most of her final months, travelling to see Alaska. Brittany spoke to People about why she’s also spending the rest of her short life helping the non-profit Compassion and Choices fight to expand death-with-dignity laws in America. Her condition worsens every day due to seizures and she’s in pain. She told People, “I’m dying, but I’m choosing to suffer less, to put myself through less physical and emotional pain and my family as well.”

In 25 days Brittany Maynard will die in her bedroom surrounded by the people she loves.

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter?@jeannedesutun