The 29 year-old woman whose battle with terminal brain cancer has gripped the nation says she may not swallow a lethal prescription on Saturday as planned because she still feels joy and thinks this might not be the “right time”.
Fox News is reporting that in a new video, Brittany Maynard still appears to be determined to end her life on her own terms, but the date may be postponed.
“So if Nov. 2 comes along and I’ve passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I’ve made, but if Nov. 2 comes along and I’m still alive, I know that we’ll just still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other and that decision will come later,” Maynard says in the video.
Maynard, who just ticked off the last item on her bucket list – a visit to Grand Canyon – says in the video that she still feels good enough to experience joy and laughter with her family and friends.
“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.”
Just after her visit to the Grand Canyon, Maynard suffered the most serious seizures yet, one of which landed her in the hospital.
“I remember looking at my husband’s face and thinking ‘I know this is my husband but I can’t say his name,’ and ended up going to the hospital for that one,” she said.
Maynard insists that people like her, who could experience a slow and painful death, should be allowed to take their own lives with prescription drugs, a cause to which she has devoted the few precious days left of her life.
According to LifeNews, she recently sparred with palliative care expert Dr. Ira Byock who appeared on a PBS show and said people with terminal brain cancer like Brittany can die peaceful deaths without taking poison.
Maynard accused him of speaking about her case “as though he knew personal details about me, saying some things that were quite frankly not true. . . . As a terminally ill patient, I find it disrespectful and disturbing when people discuss my personal health with details that are not accurate to push an agenda.”
Wesley Smith, renowned author, attorney, and anti-euthanasia activist, has nothing but sympathy for Maynard and the plight she finds herself in, but calls her reaction to Byock’s comments cynical.
First of all, Byock was not speaking for her because he never treated her and would never do such a thing, Smith said.
However, Maynard put herself into the international spotlight to push assisted suicide–but is now using her tragedy to shame anyone who disagrees into silence,”
“Well, baloney,” Smith writes. “Nobody is violating Maynard’s privacy. To the contrary: She and C & C [Compassion and Choices, formerly known as The Hemlock Society] are inserting her story into in every possible venue as an advocacy strategy.”
That being so, he continues, “people have every right to comment about the issue presented–and that includes what hospice can do for people with brain cancer–as well as whether assisted suicide is appropriate. People also have every right to opine about whether she is doing the right thing in her campaign and in deciding to take poison,” Smith said.
“Maynard should not be able to use her own tragedy to stifle full and open discussion of one of the most important policy issues of our time.”
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