Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed of a malignant brain tumor in April this year, became the face of the controversial die with dignity movement after she made public her decision to end her life and worked with Compassion & Choices, a non-profit organization that advocated for death with dignity laws.
The 29 year old, who was suffering from stage 4 glioblastoma, a brain tumor marked by progressive memory and personality decline, was given six months to live but she decided that if she would make it through October, she wanted to die by Nov. 1.
Her decision to have a dignified death had her moving from California to Portland, Oregon, where she intended to take advantage of the state's Death with Dignity Act that allows for physician assisted suicide. Besides Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington have made doctor-assisted suicide legal.
Maynard indeed made it through last month but just as she wished for, she died on Saturday, Nov. 1 after taking lethal medication that was prescribed by a doctor. Prior to her death, Maynard posted a farewell message for her loved-ones on Facebook.
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me ... but would have taken so much more," Maynard posted on Facebook.
In a statement, Compassion & Choices said that the terminally ill Maynard died as she intended in her Portland home in the presence of her family and friends.
"Brittany chose to make a well thought out and informed choice to Die With Dignity in the face of such a terrible, painful, and incurable illness," reads Maynard's obituary. "She wished that her home State of California had also been able to provide terminally ill patients with the same choice."
Maynard may have been hailed for her brave decision but this did not go well for some who are not amenable with the concept of suicide even if the decision was made because of a progressively debilitating health condition.
In an article she wrote for Religion News Service, evangelical Christian author Joni Eareckson Tada criticized Maynard's decision saying that God alone has the right to decide when a person would die.
"God who alone has the right to decide when life should begin and end," Tada wrote.