Brittany Maynard plans to die Nov. 1.
The 29-year-old terminally ill brain cancer patient was told in April she had just six months to live, and she decided that “death with dignity" -- a physician-assisted suicide -- was her best option.
“I want to die on my own terms," she said in an essay published by CNN.com.
Maynard, whose name was the No. 4 most popular Google search on Tuesday, propelled her story from the realm of personal decision to one of politicized debate by launching an online campaign to expand death with dignity laws in the United States.
A video posted to YouTube by Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group for terminally ill patients, has been viewed more than 2.7 million times, as of Wednesday afternoon, and an attempt to raise $5,000 to send Maynard and her husband on vacation has been posted to the online crowdfunding website Indiegogo.
Maynard – who moved with her family to Oregon earlier this year because it is one of five states that allows physician-assisted suicide under its Death with Dignity Act – said in her essay that there is no treatment for the large, malignant brain tumor that could lead her to a prolonged and pain-filled death. Maynard told People that the symptoms of her tumor are worsening.
“Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind,” wrote Maynard, who married her husband just over two years ago, in her CNN piece. “I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that."
She said she did not want that “nightmare scenario” for her family.
On Nov. 1, she plans to die in her Portland home using a prescription medication, People magazine reported. That is two days after her husband Dan Diaz’s birthday, which Maynard said she “really wanted to celebrate.”
Diaz and Maynard’s mother, stepfather and best friend will be with her when she dies, according to People.
“I'm dying, but I'm choosing to suffer less," Maynard told People, “to put myself through less physical and emotional pain and my family as well."
Between 1997 and 2013, 752 people in Oregon used prescriptions written for lethal medications to end their lives, according to The Washington Post, which also picked up Maynard's story.
Maynard hopes she can use her final days to help others in similar situations.
“The amount of sacrifice and change my family had to go through in order to get me to legal access to death with dignity – changing our residency, establishing a team of doctors, having a place to live – was profound,” she told People. “There’s tons of Americans who don’t have time or the ability or finances, and I don’t think that’s right or fair.”