Brittany Maynard, 29-Year-Old With Terminal Cancer, Explains Why She’s Delaying Ending Her Life

Death with Dignity

Posted on November 18, 2014 by

10/30/2014 11:36 am ET

Amanda L. Chan Managing Editor, Healthy Living

Brittany Maynard, who moved with her family to Oregon to access the state’s Death With Dignity law after being given a terminal cancer diagnosis, has decided to delay ending her life, she announced in a video posted on her website Thursday.

Maynard, who is 29 and was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year and given six months to live or less, had planned to die Nov. 1 by taking medication. But in her video message posted on her website, The Brittany Fund, she explained that “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. “But it will come because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”

She said that she’s still able to take walks with her husband, which brings her the “greatest feelings of health that I have these days,” but that overall her condition is getting worse, with seizures that leave her unable to speak afterward.

Maynard and her family moved to Portland, Oregon, because the state has a law that permits competent adults who are terminally ill (less than six months to live) to take doctor-prescribed, self-administered medication to end their own lives. Maynard is now using her own story to spread awareness of end-of-life options, and the fact that there are only five states where it is legally permitted.

For Maynard’s full message, watch the video below.

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