Because Brittany’s pain became unbearable and her seizures were more frequent and intense, she along with her family chose to move to Oregon from California, a state that allows patients with terminal illnesses and those of sound mind to seek medical assistance in ending life.
While California does not have assisted death laws in place, five states do to include Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Vermont. In 2007, the state of California considered adopting similar legislation but without adequate support, the attempt ultimately failed.
According to family and friends, Brittany was an amazingly strong woman. She graduated UC Irvine and UC Berkley and in October, came forward to make her story public. After appearing in People magazine, her plight for the right-to-die went viral, sparking debate across the country.
As stated by Sean Crowley, spokesman for a not-for-profit organization that worked closely with the Maynard family, she moved to Oregon and met all the necessary criteria for an assisted death. On Saturday while surrounded by loved ones in the comfort and privacy of her home, Brittany consumed life-ending medication and died peacefully.
Following her passing, Brittany’s family published an obituary on her website and offered full support of her decision. A portion of the obituary read that Brittany made a well-thought-out and informed decision to die with dignity while facing a horrific, painful, and incurable disease.
In her final months alive, Brittany rallied in support of death-assisted laws. She launched a website, www.theBrittanyFund.org to raise money to help other lobbyists get the “death with dignity” passage law enacted in other states.
Prior to her death, Brittany created a “bucket list”. She was able to carry out many of the adventures on that list to include teaching orphans in Nepal, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and scuba diving in the Galapagos but by October 24, the neck pains, headaches, and seizures had intensified to the point that not everything was crossed off.