Brittany Maynard's fight to end her life with dignity remembered in moving video
It's been one year since Brittany Maynard ended her own life after a battle with terminal brain cancer.
Maynard, who was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer in 2014, moved from her home state of California to Oregon in order to die on her own terms after treatments proved ineffective, thanks to the state's Death With Dignity Act.
Now, Maynard speaks in a video released just one day after California governor Jerry Brown signed the state's own End of Life Option Act into law.
"When you realize that you’re going to die and you learn how you’re going to die, you have choices to make… and those choices aren’t easy," she says in the video.
The 29-year-old Maynard ended her own life after going through the various requirements of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, including evaluations of her mental capacity to make the decision, along with examinations by two doctors. She was eventually able to fill a prescription for medication that allowed her to die on own terms, something that gave her a "tremendous sense of relief."
"I looked at passing away in hospice care in California, and I really didn’t like what that would look like for me," she says in the video released to commemorate her family's one-year association with right to die nonprofit Compassion & Choices.
In the video, Maynard reinforces that she — and only she — made the choice to end her life and that she would never "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?"
Most importantly, Maynard wanted people to cherish their lives and what they have.
"Pay attention to your relationships. Pay attention to what you value, to who you spend time with, to what you choose to make important in your daily life. If something is going to get taken away from you quickly, it’s not the stuff of life that’s going to matter to you at all."