29-Year-Old Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and told she has 6 months to live. Rather than waiting for the cancer to give her a painful death, she decided to take her life, and death, into her own hands. She explains in an article she wrote for CNN:
Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.
I did not want this nightmare scenario for my family, so I started researching death with dignity. It is an end-of-life option for mentally competent, terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. It would enable me to use the medical practice of aid in dying: I could request and receive a prescription from a physician for medication that I could self-ingest to end my dying process if it becomes unbearable.
I quickly decided that death with dignity was the best option for me and my family.
More about Brittany and her choice can be found at the fund set up in her honor.