SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A terminally ill 29-year-old woman from San Francisco is giving more thought on her decision to die by assisted suicide two days after her husband’s birthday on Nov. 1.
In a new video, Brittany Maynard said that timing depends entirely on how rapidly her cancer progresses and the severity of her symptoms.
“If November 2 comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made,” she says in the video recorded Oct. 13-14. “And if November 2 comes along and I’m still alive, I know that we’ll just still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other and that that decision will come later.”
The newlywed, who was living in San Francisco at the time, learned she had terminal brain cancer last January after months of suffering from debilitating headaches. In April, UC San Francisco told her she had six months to live. Maynard has had her life-ending medication since shortly after that.
Earlier this month, Maynard released a YouTube video on her decision to move from her home state of California in order to access death with dignity laws in Oregon. The nonprofit Compassion & Choices is helping her chronicle her choice to die through a campaign to expand assisted suicide laws around the nation.
“The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long. My most terrifying set of seizures was about a week or so ago,” Maynard says in the video. “I remember looking at my husband’s face at one point and thinking, ‘I know this is my husband, but I can’t say his name,’ and ended up going to the hospital.”
CBS This Morning Interviews Brittany Maynard:
With few options in California, Maynard and her family moved to Portland where she met the criteria for Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. Since the law went into effect in 1997, 1,173 people have had prescriptions written under the act, and 752 have used them to die.
Maynard recently blogged about a trip she took with her husband to the Grand Canyon, which she said gave her a needed distraction from her battle with cancer.
As Maynard continues to chronicle her journey, she says part of her legacy is influencing policy so all Americans can access death with dignity laws.
“But beyond that public policy goal, my goals really are quite simple,” Maynard concludes in the video, “and they mostly do boil down to my family and friends, and making sure they all know how important they are to me and how much I love them.”
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