The terminally ill woman whose controversial decision to end her own life rather than face death from a brain tumor, has passed away at the age of 29.
ABC News is reporting that Maynard chose to swallow a fatal dose of barbiturates late Saturday, thus ending her life.
In a final Facebook post on Saturday, she thanked "all those who have without hesitation helped me."
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love," she wrote. "Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this brain cancer that has taken so much from me... but would have taken so much more."
Doctors gave Maynard six months live after diagnosing her with stage 4 glioblastoma last spring.
Summer Holmes-Phillips and her sister, Erica Holmes-Kremitzki, posted on their Facebook page that their "aunt, uncle, and Dan" had said goodbye to Brittany.
"She will live on in our hearts and I will continue to share her message, just as I promised her I would," posted Kremitzki. "Fly with the angels, Brittany. I know you'll watch over us all."
Kremitzki also posted that even though Maynard was not absolutely sure she would choose November 1 as her day to die, "as her condition worsened and the tumor took over control, it became increasingly more difficult for her to function. One comfort is that she was able to make the choice to end her suffering before she was unable to function at all. That's what SHE wanted."
A spokesman for Compassion and Choices, the right-to-die organization that orchestrated Maynard's campaign for assisted suicide during the last days of her life, claims that she died "as she intended -- peacefully in her bedroom, in the arms of her loved ones."
Complications are not uncommon in people who swallow this kind of lethal cocktail, but the state of Oregon does not require a doctor to be present so there is no way of knowing whether or not Maynard died as peacefully as the organization claims.
Spokesman Sean Crowley praised Maynard for "educating a whole new generation on this issue. She is the most natural spokesperson I have ever heard in my life. The clarity of her message is amazing. She is getting people to consider this issue who haven't thought of it before. She's a teacher by trade and, she's teaching the world."
Unfortunately, she's teaching the world that it's okay to commit suicide, that suffering has no meaning or purpose, and that the grace-filled end planned for each of us by a God who loves us more than we can imagine is something to run away from rather to embrace.
We can only pray for her soul and comfort for her husband Daniel Diaz, and her mother and step-father.
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