A 29-year-old Oregon woman with terminal brain cancer has ticked off the Grand Canyon from her bucket list and said in a video released this week that she might end her life through assisted suicide in a couple of days.
Brittany Maynard was diagnosed in January with a glioblastoma brain tumor and has said she plans to take prescribed medication to die when her pain becomes unbearable. She has moved from her San Francisco Bay area home to Oregon, which allows assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
Maynard is raising funds through a group called Compassion & Choices to advocate for assisted suicide as an option for terminally ill patients. The group released her latest video on Wednesday.
Opponents of assisted suicide say some people who are ill, especially among the elderly, might be unduly influenced by people close to them to end their lives and that other ways exist to ease the suffering of the terminally ill.
Maynard, who has stressed that her decision to end her life is her own, had previously told People magazine, which featured her on the front page of its Oct. 27 issue, that she had picked Nov. 1, as the day she planned to die, although she also said she might change her mind.
In her latest video, Maynard said: "So if Nov. 2 comes along and I've passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I made.
"If Nov. 2 comes along and I'm still alive, I know that we'll still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other and that decision will come later."
On the website of Compassion & Choices, Maynard wrote that she traveled to the Grand Canyon with her husband and her parents during the week before Oct. 24 to make her bucket list dream come true.
Maynard suffered her worst seizure the morning after the Grand Canyon visit. Her speech was paralyzed for some time after she regained consciousness, she wrote.
"Sadly, it is impossible to forget my cancer," she wrote.
A representative for Compassion & Choices did not return calls.
Since 1997, more than 750 patients in Oregon have died from ingesting medications prescribed under the state's death with dignity law, according to the Oregon Public Health Division. Four states beside Oregon allow assisted suicide.