By Katie Wingo
This week, the online version of TIME Magazine published an op-ed by Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee recalling Brittany Maynard’s remarkable story that continues to act as a catalyst for progress in the death-with-dignity movement. The most recent demonstration of this progress was the California End-of-Life Option Act introduced by Senators Bill Monning and Lois Wolk, alongside Maynard’s family.
“Brittany devoted her waning days and energies to outspoken advocacy for legal reform in California and every other state. Before she died, the videos she recorded were viewed, shared on Facebook and tweeted around the world. The story of her death on People.com was the most-read story in the site’s history.”
The magnitude of her story’s reach is nothing short of phenomenal, and can be directly connected to the introduction of legislation or the pledge to do so in Washington, D.C., and at least 13 states in addition to California.
“ … since Brittany’s death, nationwide demand for similar state laws has skyrocketed.”
“Recent national polls show 74 percent of Americans and 54 percent of U.S. physicians want aid in dying to be an authorized medical option.”
With the momentum Brittany’s story has created, including nearly 4,000 stories appearing since her death, Barbara notes that policymakers can no longer ignore the public demand to pass aid-in-dying legislation:
“ … this time around, Brittany is here to stand up for the dying through her family and friends. This time, 100 million Americans know about Brittany Maynard and why she needed aid in dying as an accessible medical option. This time, the 17-year Oregon experience has moved aid-in-dying beyond a policy debate.”
You can read the full TIME.com story here.