Cancer patient Brittany Maynard visited the Grand Canyon with her family and with this visit, she managed to fulfill her one last wish before she dies. Brittany put together a list of things that she wishes to do while she is still alive and her list is now completed. However, before she dies with the help of euthanasia, Maynard continues her fight to make the choice of euthanasia available to all cancer patients.
On her list of things that she would like to do before she dies, Brittany Maynard checked the last remaining wish: to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona. “The canyon was breathtakingly beautiful and I had the opportunity to enjoy two things that I love most in the world – nature and my family,” she wrote on her website.
However, even on that day, Brittany had to cope with her disease. “I had severe headaches, neck pain did not go away and the next morning, I had the worst attack ever. My speech was paralysed for quite some time after I was conscious again and the rest of the day, I felt totally cramped,” wrote Maynard, who is losing the battle with a brain tumor.
In April, Brittany learned that she has only six months of life left. And this is when her journey to raise the awareness about people dying of cancer started. At first, Maynard thought that she will die in a hospice, but then she decided to leave in her own way. “I decided that I will leave with dignity,” she says. Therefore, she and her family left California and they moved to Oregon, which is one of five U.S. states where euthanasia is permitted.
Brittany launched a campaign on the Internet, which strives to make this option available to all Americans. “I wish that all cancer patients could have the opportunity to die on their own terms and in a dignified manner,” Brittany, who will say goodbye on November 1, wrote.
“I did not launch this campaign because I wanted attention. All of this is very hard for me. But I want to draw attention to the possibility of euthanasia. Because of this decision, my last journey is easier for me, but still, it is very difficult. Life has completely changed for all of us. We even had to move to Oregon, so that I have a chance to leave on my own terms. In order to reduce the swelling in my brain, I have to take very powerful drugs that have caused the swelling of my entire body. My husband Dan and I had to give up on our dream of having a family and my mother will soon have to bury her only child. Parents should never have to bury their children,” Brittany wrote.
Besides Oregon, the other U.S. countries that allow people to die on their own terms are Washington, New Mexico, Montana and Vermont. However, Brittany says that this it is not enough, since right now, euthanasia is a choice that is only available to some Americans and Maynard finds this really unethical. Working through her foundation, The Brittany Fund, Brittany wants other states, like New Jersey, Colorado and California to consider passing laws that would allow people to make the ultimate choice – life or death.
By: Janette Verdnik