Brittany Maynard, 29, found out that she had only 6 months left to live. Maynard has teamed up with the non-profit organization Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organization, to bring awareness to others and rights for those with terminal diseases.
Shortly after getting married Maynard began getting excruciating headaches. After getting some tests and X-rays done she found out what no one wants to discover, especially when they are in the prime of their life, she has stage 4 glioblastoma, brain cancer.
Maynard’s health began to rapidly decline as the days went by. Doctors told her how the disease would take its toll on her body, and it terrified her.
"My glioblastoma is going to kill me, and that's out of my control," she says. "I've discussed with many experts how I would die from it, and it's a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying."
Maynard strongly believes that Aid in Dying should be an option for one that is dying. She also wants everyone to know that she does not consider it to be suicide. Now she is spending the rest of her short time here with the people she loves and advocating expanding death-with-dignity laws nationwide.
Making the choice of when and how you will die is an extremely controversial subject. Euthanasia aka Aid in Dying or Physician Assisted Suicide has its pros and cons which many feel extremely passionate about whether they’re for it or against it. While there are many people like Maynard that are advocating for it, many also believe that Death with Dignity Act is vain or shallow.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, described in an interview earlier this year that watching his father die gave him this epiphany, “Maybe dignity is not such a big deal after all. I had it up there with righteousness or you know I had it up there with something that you aspire to. But actually the two most important events of your life, being born and dying, you know, are very messy for mother and child.” He went on to add, “Dignity it may be a human construct, it’s a bit like cool, it might be vain. I started to understand those Indian priests that were like “let’s get dignity out of the way,” and that maybe humility is the eye of the needle that we all have to pass through.”