In New Video, US Right-to-Die Woman Holds on

by Kathy Jones on  October 31, 2014 at 11:34 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Media reports indicate that a young American woman with terminal cancer who triggered shock and controversy when she said she would kill herself on November 1 now says she may wait a little longer.
 In New Video, US Right-to-Die Woman Holds on
In New Video, US Right-to-Die Woman Holds on

Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old brain cancer sufferer, won notoriety earlier this year when a video of her making her suicide threat went viral and was seen by millions of web-users.

On Thursday she released a new more video in which she said she might temporarily delay her appointment with a self-administered cocktail of potentially deadly drugs.

"I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn't seem like the right time right now," she said, in a new six-minute video.

"But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It's happening each week," she said in the video posted on a site set up to raise funds to support right-to-die advocates:

In January, Maynard was given six months to live and told her death would be painful because of the aggressive nature of her cancer.

She had been trying for a first child with her husband Dan Diaz at the time, but gave up due to her disease.

Maynard and her husband, who had just married when she began having severe headaches, moved from their home in California to Oregon, one of a handful of states with a "right-to-die" law.

A doctor could therefore prescribe her the medication she needs to end her own life, surrounded by her family in the bedroom she shares with her husband.

Earlier in October, a first video went viral. It has now been viewed more than 9 million times on YouTube. Some 3.5 million people have visited the website.

Her story has made headlines around the world: she was featured on the cover of last week's People magazine in the United States.

She has previously said she planned to end her life after her husband's birthday on October 26, but before her own on November 19. The new video was recorded on October 13.

Maynard has in recent weeks and months been working to tick off items on a "bucket list" of what she wants to do before she dies -- including traveling to the Grand Canyon last week.

"The canyon was breathtakingly beautiful, and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature," she wrote in a blog post.

She is currently on medication to limit the swelling of her brain, but which has the side effect of making her gain weight.

- Debilitating seizures -

A spokesman for Compassion and Choices, the right-to-die organization helping Maynard manage her final days, said Wednesday she will likely end her life in the next week or two.

"Brittany's seizures are becoming more debilitating and frequent, so obviously her family worries about her suffering," spokesman Sean Crowley told AFP.

"November 1 always was a tentative date. It is now early November. Whether Brittany takes aid-in-dying medication depends upon if her dying process becomes unbearably painful."

Maynard's family, including her husband and her mother Debbie Ziegler, are supporting her all the way. "It sounds so cliche: We take things one day at a time," said her husband.

"But it's like, that's the only way to get through this," he added.

Choices and Compassion spokesman Crowley added that, for Maynard's family, grief at her passing will likely also be accompanied by relief.

"Anyone who loses a loved one under and circumstances experience grief, but when your loved one dies with dignity, gently and peacefully by going to sleep after taking the medication, rather than prolonged suffering, it is a relief."

Source: AFP

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