End-of-Life Choice, Death with Dignity, Palliative Care and Counseling

General News

Brittany Maynard Named One of PEOPLE’s 25 Most Intriguing People

Magazine Honors Death-With-Dignity “Crusader”

(Portland, OR – Dec. 12, 2014) Today’s issue of PEOPLE Magazine recognizes Brittany Maynard as one of the 25 most intriguing people of 2014 for her role as “The Crusader” in the death-with-dignity movement, in partnership with Compassion & Choices.

American adults now believe by a record 5-to-1 margin (74% support vs. 14% oppose) that terminally ill adults – in great pain and with no chance for recovery – have the right to choose to end their own life, according to a HealthDay/Harris Poll released last week.

In addition, since the Oct. 6 launch of Brittany’s joint campaign with Compassion & Choices, 20 newspapers in 11 states have endorsed death with dignity, also known as the medical practice of aid in dying.

“Brittany Maynard deserves this PEOPLE Magazine honor because she taught policymakers and millions of other people why terminally ill adults need the choice to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable. Now we must motivate the legions of people Brittany inspired to fulfill her mission to authorize aid in dying in every state,” said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, a former ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant who coauthored the Oregon death-with-dignity law Brittany utilized.

In the PEOPLE story entitled, “The Crusader BRITTANY MAYNARD,” the magazine reports:

“In heartbreaking videos and exclusive interviews with PEOPLE, the terminally ill 29-year-old passionately defended her decision to end her life under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. She did just that on Nov. 1 in the presence of her husband and family, but not before showing just what it means to live life to its fullest.”

“I feel fortunate to go surrounded by love,” Brittany told PEOPLE before she died.

On Nov. 13, 12 days after Brittany’s death, the New Jersey Assembly passed an aid-in-dying bill.

On Nov. 19 – what would have been Brittany Maynard’s 30th birthday – Compassion & Choices launched a national initiative for expanded access to death with dignity with a “call to action” video narrated by Brittany on Oct. 13-14.

“I hope for the sake of other American citizens all these people that I’m speaking to that I’ve never met, that I’ll never meet, that this choice be extended to you … That we mobilize, that we vocalize, that we start to talk about it,” said Brittany in the video. The entire video is posted at: www.TheBrittanyFund.org.

In Brittany’s honor, lawmakers have pledged to introduce bills to authorize death with dignity in 14 states: California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Currently, five states authorize aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico.

About Compassion & Choices:

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. Leading the end-of-life choice movement for more than 30 years, we support, educate and advocate. More information is available at: www.compassionandchoices.org.


Theologian Compares Brittany Maynard to 9-11’s “Falling Man”

By Katie Wingo

“Admittedly, I thought the matter was settled in my mind … Until Brittany I was absolutely, positively against the idea that [death with dignity] should be legal. However – and here’s another of Brittany’s accomplishments these past few weeks – I don’t feel the way I did a few weeks ago.”

That is an excerpt from a Time Magazine online op-ed, “Brittany Maynard Didn’t Commit Suicide (What we can learn from 9-11’s ‘Falling Man’),” authored by Benjamin L. Corey, a blog writer and speaker who holds a Master of Arts in Theology.


Brittany Maynard’s Story Inspires 20 Newspapers Across Nation to Endorse Death With Dignity

By Patti Brooks

Brittany Maynard’s historic joint partnership with Compassion & Choices to expand access to death with dignity nationwide has sparked a national conversation about end-of-life choice.

In fact, since our campaign launch on Oct. 6, Brittany has inspired at least 20 newspapers in 11 states to editorialize in support of the medical practice of aid in dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.

Below are excerpts of the 20 editorials in alphabetical order of the 11 states.


Brittany Maynard Story Spikes Strong Support for Death-With-Dignity Movement, New Harris Poll Finds

By Sean Crowley

Already strong national public support for death-with-dignity legislation has grown even stronger in the days since the Nov. 1 death of 29-year-old brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has found.

Below are excerpts of today’s Forbes story about the poll.

“New report findings indicate a surge of public support for giving terminally ill patients greater control of their end-of-life care.

“According to the results of a recent online survey conducted by HealthDay and Harris Poll, 74 percent of American adults believe terminally ill patients who are suffering from severe pain should have the right to choose to end their own lives. Poll results revealed that only 14 percent of participants oppose this view …


“Brittany Gave Her Husband a Gift,” Writes California Widower

By Katie Wingo

“… [John] La Grange, 66, of Solana Beach, California, was listening to the radio in his car several weeks ago and the topic of Brittany Maynard was brought up on a call-in show, it stopped him in his tracks.”

That is an excerpt of People.com’s write -up on longtime Compassion & Choices member and retired commercial fisherman, John La Grange.

John had to witness his wife’s agonizing demise at the end of her life like many Americans living in states that don’t authorize aid in dying.

“The radio discussion of Maynard immediately caught my attention … This [death with dignity] is an option I wish my wife would have had.”

John is brutally honest speaking with People – from the depth of his and his wife’s suffering to the fact that he believes she’d have chosen to utilize death with dignity had it been an option for her in California.