Oregon Woman 'Dies With Dignity' After Taking Lethal Doctor-Prescribed Drugs

By Brent McCluskey 11/04/14

Brittany Maynard uprooted herself from California to move to Oregon, one of only five states that authorize death with dignity.

brittany maynard.png
Photo via

Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who was suffering from brain cancer, chose to end her life Saturday by taking lethal doctor-prescribed medication.

Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer on New Year’s Day and was given six months to live. But the California native wanted to choose how her life would end, so she moved to Oregon to take advantage of the state’s “Death with Dignity Act,” which allows residents diagnosed with a terminal illness to receive lethal drugs prescribed by a doctor.

Maynard discussed the possibility of taking the lethal drugs with her husband, Dan Diaz, and the rest of her family. While they wanted Maynard to be cured, they also didn't want her to continue suffering.

“I think in the beginning my family members wanted a miracle; they wanted a cure for my cancer,” Maynard told The Associated Press in early October. “I wanted a cure for my cancer. I still want a cure for my cancer. One does not exist, at least not that I’m aware of. When we all sat down and looked at the facts, there isn’t a single person that loves me that wishes me more pain and more suffering.”

Maynard ultimately chose to take the lethal medication and died “peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones,” according to a statement from Compassion & Choices. 

Oregon was the first state to adopt the “Death with Dignity Act,” and so far four other states—Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexicohave followed suit. The act mandates the terminally ill patient be of sound mind and have the ability to swallow the drugs unassisted, though a doctor is permitted to administer the drugs. 

Maynard is one of many terminally ill Oregonians who have found peace through the “Death with Dignity Act.” More than 750 others have also utilized the law since the beginning of this year.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
brent mccluskey.jpg

Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.