29-Year-Old Woman Schedules Day to Die After Receiving Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

MaynardPORTLAND — A 29-year-old woman has scheduled her own day to die after being told that she has an aggressive form of terminal brain cancer that would take her life in less than a year—a decision that some state puts her in the position of essentially “playing God.”

Brittany Maynard of California began experiencing headaches last year shortly after marrying fiance Dan Diaz. On New Year’s Day this year, she was diagnosed with Astrocytoma and underwent brain surgery days later to help stop the cancerous tumor from growing. She was given ten years to live.

In April, Maynard learned that the cancer had progressed to Glioblastoma multiforme, and was more aggressive than ever. She was advised that she instead had six months to live, and was informed about various treatment possibilities.

Maynard explained in a recent op-ed for CNN said that she rejected these ideas because they would impact her “quality of life,” and also decided not to pursue hospice care because she did not want her family to watch her suffer.

“Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind,” she wrote. “I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”

Maynard outlined that she then began researching euthanasia, or as she called it, “death with dignity,” and concluded that it was her “best option.” However, because euthanasia is illegal in California, she and her husband moved to Oregon, which passed a law allowing the practice in 1997. Approximately 750 people have died under the legislation since its enactment.

The 29-year-old then obtained a prescription for a pill that would hasten her death.

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“Now that I’ve had the prescription filled and it’s in my possession, I have experienced a tremendous sense of relief,” she wrote in her op-ed. “And if I decide to change my mind about taking the medication, I will not take it.”

Maynard denies that she is suicidal or that she wishes to die.

“I’ve had the medication for weeks. I am not suicidal. If I were, I would have consumed that medication long ago,” she said. “I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.”

As her husband’s birthday is on October 30th, Maynard decided that she will take the pill on November 1st—the date that she has chosen to die.

“When my suffering becomes too great, I can say to all those I love, ‘I love you; come be by my side, and come say goodbye as I pass into whatever’s next,'” she said. “I will die upstairs in my bedroom with my husband, mother, stepfather and best friend by my side and pass peacefully.”

Maynard has also decided to establish a fund that will go toward efforts to legalize euthanasia in other states.

However, some disagree with Maynard’s decision and efforts, opining that no one should take death into their own hands.

“By making the decision to end her own life on November 1st, Maynard is assuming she has nothing more to offer this world or her loved ones beyond that point,” wrote Christian commentator Steve Deace on Wednesday. “That is to say in essence she is playing God and making decisions as if she alone knows the future.”

“And why choose November 1st when she was given six months to live back in April? By making it to November at all Maynard has already defied her original diagnosis if you do the math,” he added.

Deace, who noted that death came upon all mankind due to Adam’s fall, said that he did not seek to criticize Maynard, but “to provoke her to move beyond her fear of suffering, and see the world as it really is and her life as it was really intended to be.”

“[Jesus] knows what you’re going through, Brittany, and has already suffered what you fear happening to you—but even worse. For His willingness to lay down his life for you (us), He has been given all power under heaven and earth,” he wrote. “That means He has you alive right now for a reason. He has a purpose for you to inspire and love others, and He wants them to inspire and love on you as well. And He wants you to know that perfect love casts out all fear.”


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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

    So am I reading this right, this young lady is planning on committing suicide? Brothers and sisters, we need to pray for this young lady that she receives healing from God so that she doesn’t have to go through with her plan. This really hurts my heart reading about someone who is that hopeless.
    For anyone that is contemplating suicide for whatever reasons- please don’t do it. There is hope for you. I know your current situation seems bleak- but you never know what tomorrow may bring. The number for the national suicide prevention hotline is: 1-800-273-8255. Please don’t give up hope!

    • Guest

      Regina, this woman is facing possibly the single most painful and prolonged manner of death imaginable, and rather than suffer through that, she has decided to take control of the situation. Rather than die at the hands of her disease, she will get to die at home, with those she loves, in the manner she prefers. My guess is you know nothing about glioblastoma multiforme, because if you ever knew anybody who’s had it, you would never begrudge them deciding to end their life, and regardless of your faith, nobody, and I mean NOBODY EVER has survived this brutal form of cancer. Sadly, it is a death sentence, whether you’ve got hope or not.

      I really don’t understand the modern evangelical’s obsession with telling others how to live their lives. What’s most unfortunate about your position is you completely missed the point that this young woman has had to move away from her home just to be able to have control over her own body! Did you even recognize that as a problem, or were you so deeply enthralled with judging her and wanting her to do what you prefer that you think a woman is not entitled to decide how to live, or not live her own life?

      Glioblastoma multiform
      Glioblastoma multiform
      Glioblastoma multiform
      Glioblastoma multiform

      • KenS

        maybe you haven’t heard of the verse: I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me, Philippians 4:13 or this one, 2 Corinthians 12:9, And he said unto me My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

        • Krauss Allie

          Thank you Ken for showing me some scripture, but what’s that got to do with the issues in this story??? This is a woman who has a terrible disease, and she was forced to move to another state just to gain control of her own body… are you incapable of discussing the actual issue, or have you reached a point when normal discourse is impossible?

          • KenS

            The scriptures i showed are relevant to your remarks about her having to move to gain control of her body, especailly my second one when read in context to the prior verse, where Paul was asking the Lord to remove a thorn in his flesh, and the Lord said no.

          • Rose

            There’s also 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

            “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit
            dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.
            For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

            If this woman was
            certain that she was going to die, then why not do some last minute
            ministry and help save people instead of killing herself? Suicide is
            selfish in my opinion. If you’ve got the time to save the lives of
            others, then why not?

      • Bill

        You said, “I really don’t understand the modern evangelical’s obsession with telling others how to live their lives.”

        In writing a two paragraph comment, you’re, in a rather obsessive manner, attempting to tell an evangelical how to live their life.

        You said, “Did you even recognize that as a problem, or were you so deeply enthralled with judging her…”

        You have judged the person you were responding to as having committed the sin of judging. You are a judgmental person. The whole point of what Jesus said about judging in Matthew 7 was that you remove the log from your own eye so that you can help someone else with their speck. You have a huge judging log in your eye and you’re trying to help someone with what you consider their speck.

        In reality the previous commenter was not sinning when they judged the person in the article. They were judging with righteous judgment as Jesus encouraged (John 7:24). Jesus condemned the hypocritical judgment that you have committed.

        Non-Christian worldviews inevitably lead to these kind of self-contradictions. Please repent.

        • Krauss Allie

          Bill, my message posted twice for some reason. This was not my intention. I’ll address the remainder of your post tomorrow, but for now, I need to get some sleep. Be well.

          • Bill

            Don’t worry about responding to me. But you ought to apologize to Regina for having falsely judged her.

    • Krauss Allie

      Regina, this woman is facing possibly the single most painful and
      prolonged manner of death imaginable, and rather than suffer through
      that, she has decided to take control of the situation. Rather than die
      at the hands of her disease, she will get to die at home, with those
      she loves, in the manner she prefers. My guess is you know nothing
      about glioblastoma multiforme, because if you ever knew anybody who’s
      had it, you would never begrudge them deciding to end their life, and
      regardless of your faith, nobody, and I mean NOBODY EVER has survived
      this brutal form of cancer. Sadly, it is a death sentence, whether
      you’ve got hope or not.

      I really don’t understand the modern
      evangelical’s obsession with telling others how to live their lives.
      What’s most unfortunate about your position is you completely missed the
      point that this young woman has had to move away from her home just to
      be able to have control over her own body! Did you even recognize that
      as a problem, or were you so deeply enthralled with judging her and
      wanting her to do what you prefer that you think a woman is not entitled
      to decide how to live, or not live her own life?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

        Let’s put it this way, it hurts to see someone have to make such a terrible decision. And of course, she is free to make the choice to end her life. However, it is a tragedy she is choosing to give up hope. Then it makes me think about all of the other people who choose to commit suicide for whatever reasons. Suicide just isn’t the answer. Hope is.

        • Phipps Mike

          “it hurts to see someone have to make such a terrible decision. ”
          that’s all that has to be said about this article.

      • Lebowski genmay

        I’m sorry, but she (the lady in the story) is just trying to be a figure head of another progressive movement. I’m sick of people saying “dignity in death” There’s no dignity in death or how you choose to die.
        I find it ironic though. She and others in her camp want the drug companies to make drugs that will kill her, but then they say they don’t want them making those drugs because they are inhuman for criminal execution.
        You take what you get in life and fight to survive every day. How we die doesn’t define us. How we lived does. If you want to die, fine. Jump off a bridge, put a gun to your head and get right to the edge… Most people that get to the point that they are dangling from the bridge or are slowly pulling the trigger stop. For whatever reason, they stop because something tells them, keep fighting through whatever it is that is afflicting you. The idea of a sudden, violent death, puts your whole life into prespective. Taking a pill and falling sleep IS the easy way out, but it also doesn’t allow for real inner reflection on ones situation. But I guess that’s how our society is now. do everything the easy way with government approval.

      • Renee Aponte

        Yes, there have been people that have survived, ”

        Heather Knies was given a death sentence at the age of 24. She battled not one, but two brain tumors — one of them a grade 4 glioblastoma, the same kind of cancer that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2010.

        But today, six years later, she is cancer-free, and her doctors at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona cannot explain it. Her latest MRI is clean, and she is neurologically intact.” So you cannot say that NOBODY EVER has survived. Brittany said that she will suffer under Hospice care and that is the furthest from the truth. Hospice makes sure that the patient is comfortable.

      • Rachael EM

        1 Corinthians 6:15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?
        no our Bodie or lives are not our own, they’re are Gods and Gods alone. and only he chooses who does or doesn’t live. all life is in his hands. it’s nothing to do with “modern evangelical obsession” it’s called biblical fact. and no, it’s not us who says who can or can’t take their lives, but the author of life himself. we only relay tha message of truth to the world. how bout trying to open and read a bible? yes what this woman is going to go through with this desease is tragic, but the fact is we all suffer in this world, do you think people dying of starvation in a third world country get a choice? what about them? a little hypocritical really. hope and faith is all we have in this dark and fallen hope. no, we have no right to play God. everything happens for a reason.

        • dd2

          If we have no right to play god, and only god chooses who does or doesn’t live then can you explain why god would allow a young child to be shaken to death by his father, or a teenager to be raped and murdered walking down a path in a park, or a young woman to die painfully from an incurable disease? If only god chooses who does or doesn’t live then why is it ok for him to decide that a human can brutally kill another human but it’s not ok for a human to have the free will to decide to terminate their own life to save the pain and suffering that they will endure if they let god decide? Is that really the god you believe in? Really !?! I feel sorry for you.

    • yogi

      I prayed for her yesturday, with tears to our Lord that He would bring her healing. And also God would change her mind and give her hope…

  • Mindy

    http://tinyurl.com/om8ydsq – God is moving in this <3
    – praying for both of these women.

  • one of HIS

    she says she’s a Christian & wants to die with pills?! she’s a LIAR she’s not a Christian! we are NOT supposed to do that! GOD says thou shalt not murder.our lives are in GOD’S hands no matter what we feel we belong to HIM! she will burn in hell for doing it- if she does.STUPID!

    • KenS

      Wrong, If she is a christian, even if she kills herself, she will still go to heaven, she may lose some of her rewards because of this sin, but it will not condemn her to hell, the moment of salvation, paid for all her sins, past, present, and future, there is nothing more needed to pay for that sin of suicide just as if there was no more needed to pay for the sin of cursing, as the car crashes and you die instantly after the curse with no time to repent.

      • Rose

        Where in the bible does it say that? Because what I’ve read is
        1 Corinthians 3:16-17
        Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
        If this woman was certain that she was going to die, then why not do some last minute ministry and help save people instead of killing herself? Suicide is selfish in my opinion. If you’ve got the time to save the lives of others, then why not?

        • KenS

          The destruction the verse you are quoting speaks of either the sin unto death, where God calls the sinner home, or the chatisement of God to his children for their sins, Here are some scriptures that teach of the eternal security of the believer: Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. this one speaks of how when we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit because it is sealed and cannot leave us and therefore is grieved when It is in contact with our sin. Also, right above the scripture you referenced, 1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. This is what i was referencing in my original post about losing rewards because of our sins but not our salvation. If you will see that from the context above this verse, Paul is talking about the work that Christians do after God has laid the foundation, which is their salvation through Jesus. in this passage, Paul states that if we do any works here for our glory instead of HIS, when the work is tested by fire, we shall suffer loss, but our soul shall still be saved. Lastly, and most importantly, from the Apostle John in I John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. John is telling us that all who have believed on the name of the Son of God, can know that they have eternal life; therefore, if a Christian sins, he does not lose his salvation, he will however be chastised by God and could be in danger of losing his physical life just as the husband and wife in acts did when they lied about the price of the land they had sold. Acts 5:9-10 Then Peter said unto her,How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

          • Rose

            Ecclesiastes 7:17
            Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

            She doesn’t chose when she dies, God does. She is given time to go out and minister to those who are suffering the same thing, she can save people.

            1 Corinthians 6:19-20
            Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
            within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

            I believe in eternal life, but that’s no reason for anybody with an illness to just kill themselves. That’s God’s work, and I believe if she will wait and hang in there a little while longer, God will either heal her, or let her sleep eternally in peace. But if she commits suicide, I believe that God may give her a little moment before death to repent for her sin. And if she doesn’t she pays a price.

          • KenS

            And what price would that be? Again you are not understanding the concept of eternal life after being saved. Upon the moment of salvation, all your sins, past, present, and future are paid for. Any future sin will not condemn you to Hell, it can make you susceptible to God’s chasetisment and loss of heavenly rewards, but your soul is still saved whether you have asked for forgiveness of that new sin or not. So, in her case that payment you speak of would have to be loss of some reward, since she will not have anytime after her death to ask for fogiveness, of course this is all assuming that she has already believed on Christ for her salvation before killing herself.

          • Rose

            Well it is my belief that you can lose your eternal life if you refuse Christ and disobey like so. If you know you’re going to hell if you do something and do it anyway, you’re going to hell. And I believe that there is no measurement of ‘rewards’ in heaven. Being in heaven is it’s own reward. But you have your opinions and I have mine. I just hope and pray that this girl doesn’t make the mistake of committing suicide when God gave her her time on Earth for a reason.

  • Nana Rodriguez

    Hello, Brittany. I can understand your thoughts but if there were any chance you could make it, would you try and fight this ? I wouldn’t give up without fighting like hell, do some research on health cures that have reversed cancer at the very last stages, so many have come back from this, don’t throw in the towel yet just because of what a doctor says. Get up and fight !!!!! Think Rocky 😉 and fight this with all you’ve got! I am rooting for you, God bless you, sending you and your family all my love xoxoxoxo <33333333. I'll be watching you 🙂 http://www.cancertutor.com

    • Nana Rodriguez

      I have faith in you, hold on, i will pray for you

    • Nana Rodriguez

      I believe, and i am hoping God hears all the prayers for your health

  • Comfort Obiageri Uko

    Jesus went about healing all manner of diseases.
    This lady should not kill herself. It is the devil that is pushing her to terminate her life, so that she will continue to suffer in hell eternally. Please lady stop taking that pill. JESUS CHRIST CAN TERMINATE THAT CANCER to give you a better life here and forever.
    Do not kill your self please.

  • Susan Freund

    Ian gawler cancer retreat in melbourne Australia can cure her

    • Krauss Allie

      Susan, thank you for so concisely demonstrating the dangers of a non-skeptical mind. No, Ian Gawler cannot cure her. Her cancer is incurable. Susan, don’t you think if somebody in Australia had figured out how to cure cancer, the medical community would be down under right now studying this cure in depth? Why is it modern medical science is unaware of this cure? Furthermore, if Ian Gawler actually had a viable cure, why isn’t he subjecting his cure to peer review and clinical trials so he can then help as many people as possible? I’m so sorry you’ve fallen for this kind of garbage, but as a woman who’s been directly affected by cancer in my life, I cannot and will not quell my utter disgust for the kind of irrational and unjustified thinking you are engaging in. You’re doing nobody on the planet any good spreading this kind of ignorant wishful thinking. Until you are able to back up your claims with some sort of legitimate evidence, please, for all those suffering today and those who will suffer tomorrow, knock it the hell off!

      Dr. Allie Krauss

  • John Lawton Jeffcoat III

    As Christians, we should not blindly and ignoarantly lump this woman’s “right to choose” to not suffer a tortuously painful and lingering death into same category as a woman’s so-called “right to choose” to take the life of an unborn baby. They are not the same thing … not even close… and they should not be equated, or even compared.
    The true hypocrisy here is that, when 95% of the Americans (Christian or otherwise) who get diagnosed with a painful terminal cancerous disease enter the hospital / hospice care environment… they are given a morphine pump via IV into their arm. Nobody rejects this, and says… “No, that’s OK… I prefer to lay here screaming in terrible pain”. They take the morphine drip. The nurse explains that the system will not allow them to press the button for more morphine more than once every five minutes.
    But then… as death draws near… that limitation is removed from the morphine drip, and the patient is admonished that they can click for more morphine, as they require it… but clicking to much, too frequently, will result in a gentle and sleepy death. So… where the pain gets to be too much… what do 95% of us (Christian or otherwise) do? That’s right… we click the button… a lot. Do you want to call that “suicide?” I do not. I also do not see that as being much different that this woman choosing to take her pill, if the pain gets to be far too much for her. I do not judge her, or condemn her for that.
    Having said that… I do not approve of her scheduling a “Day To Die” on November 1… even though she is not yet in great pain, and not yet near the end of the life God gave her. That would be morally wrong and very premature for her to do that.

  • joe

    People have successfully fought this cancer and won by using hemp oil. She should do some research before deciding to kill herself.

    • Krauss Allie

      Yes, hemp oil cures Stage 4 cancer. I don’t know why the medical community isn’t following this. Oh that’s right, the ‘conspiracy’. You’re all nuts. It’s really no wonder you’re marginalized the way you are. and as people become more and more sophisticated, it will continue. Of course you’ll see it as a biblical prophesy, because nobody 2000 years ago could have known this stuff would be seen as borderline insanity. Anyway, back to reality….

  • KAWA

    I really don’t know what to say. I don’t see it as a brave decision….perhaps it is the cowards way out. I’m not trying to be cold or heartless…just thinking out loud. I live with Vascular EDS….with two aneurysms, blood clots, strokes, vision difficulty, severe pain, and memory loss! Every day is precious and like most of us…I don’t know how many days I have left. Unless I die quickly from a ruptured aneurysm, stroke, heart attack…….I too will suffer as my organs will become more damaged and the pain increases. I know laws have made it legal for people to make life and death decisions for the sick, elderly, and unborn….and what our government wants. Terminally ill people are being educated/molded (brainwashed) with gentle persuasion to believe this is a brave act and best for their loved ones…to “Die In Dignity”! Government doesn’t care about our suffering….they focus on the money saved when removing people from medicare, medicaid, social security, disability, food stamps, jails, State nursing homes, ect. Tell these weak people they’re brave, remove these people, let them kill themselves, and the government funds saved in a year adds up! Recently, my uncle was eating and living in a assisted living facility. He went to the hospital with a bladder infection and sent back to his home. Hospice was contacted and after a meeting with his children a decision was made to take him off his medicine, to stop feeding him, and start giving him morphine. My uncle went from being a 82 yr old with some health issues, enjoying his friends, food, and life… to being drugged up and starved to death. “We” don’t get to pick the date of “our” arrival into this world (your parents might) and I don’t believe we are suppose to pick the date of our exit(again, your parents might if your brain dead)! What’s next….people not dying but in horrific pain being persuaded to commit suicide? The elderly… even though they’re not on a deathbed? Young children born with birth defects and below average IQ’s? Why do we have to bring in death experts? A bottle of sleeping pills and a bottle of wine would do the same thing! Why is one form of suicide accepted and another isn’t? Brittany… I’m sorry for your sickness! But …. I disagree with your decision to end your life! My opinion doesn’t mean I don’t care for the pain and suffering of others! It doesn’t make me a hero for my decision to ride it out until my time is up! There are no winners! You’re in my prayers!

  • Margie Rap

    “We are not our own”! We have no right to take our own life. It belongs to God, who gave your life. It is he alone, that decides when we leave earth; no matter what the circumstances. Please consider where you will spend eternity, if you end your own life. Hell is the destination, for anyone who does.

    Corinthians 6:19-20

    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  • d l bishop

    Has she investigated all medical options? If she has robust insurance, there is a small possibility that proton therapy and a new drug may help. Possibly too late for this intervention, but there is more info here… http://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/cancer-newsline/cancer-newsline-topics/2010/cancer-newsline-options-for-glioblastoma-multiforme-brain-cancer-.html

  • vicki mcavalon

    Nova cure has a trial study for the kind of brain tumor?

  • Sheri

    A soft bed, clean soft P.J’s that smell like Downey, Lots of flowers, cocktails for all (Open Bar!) a wonderful last supper, Chocolates (Godiva!), morphine patches for my pain and surrounded by the people I love! Cheers! and to all a good night! What a way to go!

  • dd2

    On September 11th, 2001 we witnessed a horrific act of terror as jets slammed into the World Trade Center. As the day unfolded we witnessed people actually jump to their death from high in that building. Why? A decision had to be made by each of those people. Either burn from the inferno caused by the ignited jet fuel or jump to their death to escape the flames. Were they cowards ? Some here will argue yes. Death was coming one way or the other. They made the choice to jump maybe with the hope that jumping would be the better way to die. They surely didn’t believe they could survive that fall. Those people chose to die the way they saw fit. That, in my opinion, was the most courageous choice they ever made. This young woman is faced with the same decision and she too chose to leave this world they way she sees fit. If there is a book or a belief that tries to teach me otherwise then it is not a book or belief that I will follow. Good luck to you Brittany, and please know you are an inspiration to many.