Terminally ill US woman ends her life
AN AMERICAN woman with terminal cancer has died, following promises to end her own life that had triggered shock and controversy over the right to die.
Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old brain cancer sufferer, made headlines last month when a video of her public decision to end her life was seen by millions of Internet users.
"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me...but would have taken so much more," she wrote in a message circulated widely on social media.
"The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type...Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!"
Sean Crowley, spokesman for Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life activist group that supported Ms Maynard, said she died peacefully in her home on Saturday.
A statement from the organisation said she had suffered "increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms".
In January, Ms Maynard was given six months to live and told her death would be painful because of the aggressive nature of her cancer.
She and her husband had just married when she began having severe headaches. The couple later moved from their home in California to Oregon, one of a handful of American states with a "right-to-die" law.
A doctor could therefore prescribe her the medication that she needed to end her own life, surrounded by her family in the bedroom she shared with her husband.
On Thursday, she had released a new video in which she said she might delay the use of a self-administered cocktail of potentially deadly drugs.
But the delay was a short one.
Her story has made headlines around the world, and she was featured on the cover of last week's People magazine.
Ms Maynard had in recent months been working to tick off items on a bucket list of what she wanted to do before she died, including travelling to the Grand Canyon last week.