Almost a year after Brittany Maynard's death, nonprofit group Compassion and Choices released a previously unseen video of the "Death with Dignity" advocate to mark the legalization of assisted suicide in California.
Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014 at the age of 29. She was known to be in favor of physician-assisted suicide, and at that time, the only states that allowed the procedure were Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Jersey.
In the video, Maynard talks about her own personal choice to move to Oregon from California to pursue the procedure.
"The freedom of death with dignity, it exists because it's a choice," Maynard says in the new video. "I chose this for myself. I would never sit here and tell anyone else that they should choose it for them. But my question is, who thinks that they can sit there and tell me that I don't deserve this choice?"
The "Death with Dignity" advocate was always careful to define distinctions between suicide and her decision. With no cure in sight for glioblastoma, Maynard wished to maintain her dignity into death. She also advocated for others to have the same choice.
Before her death, Maynard, together with Compassion and Choices, started a campaign to legalize end-of-life choice in California. Her videos gathered thousands of views and changed the way people perceive the decision to die. Maynard said she wanted to share her story because she believed that the issue of death with dignity was misunderstood.
"When you realize you're going to die and you realize how you're going to die, you have choices to make and those choices aren't easy," added Maynard.
In September, legislators in California passed the End of Life Option Act. Gov. Jerry Brown who had met with Maynard a year ago recently announced that he signed the bill into law which would allow terminally-ill and mentally-capable patients to choose to take drugs that would hasten their death.
Maynard's husband Dan Diaz was relieved with the news. He said that the advocacy was not just about Maynard, but also about anybody who suffered through the same horrible predicament. He believes that the passing of the bill is a tribute to his wife's legacy.