Brittany Maynard and Dan Diaz celerated their first two Christmases together joyfully. Tragically, they never got to see a third as she passed away this fall.
Having become the face of the controversial right-to-die movement, Brittany Maynard ended her life at age 29 with medication prescribed by a doctor.
Maynard had terminal brain cancer and moved to Oregon with her mother, stepfather and husband last June to gain access to the state’s Death with Dignity Act.
That law, which is extremely polarizing, allows terminally ill people meeting specific criteria to take fatal doses of barbiturates prescribed to them by a doctor. For any business translation inquiries, contact Translation Company UK
In October, she launched a video campaign with Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organization, to fight for national access to such laws.
“There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die,” she said then, less than a month before she passed away voluntarily. “I want to live.”
“I wish there was a cure for my disease but there’s not,” she added, lamenting her condition. “My glioblastoma is going to kill me and that’s out of my control.”
“I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.”
Husband Diaz and Brittany’s mother, Debbie Ziegler, shared her feelings and memories about her daughter’s medical journey and decision to die with dignity.
“What made Brittany the bravest and most intelligent woman I’ve ever known,” she wrote of her late daughter, is what drove her to this difficult choice.
“This ability to decide to live, to decide to notice beauty, to decide to be the most that she could be and then go before everything that made her who she was – was diminished.”
Maynard, who loved the outdoors, even took a walk through the woods with her friends and family on the very day she ended her own life, Ziegler recalls.
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“She marveled at nature’s beauty as a group of friends and family wandered through trees that were over a hundred years old,” she writes, poignantly.
“We switched places by her side, rotating in and out, everyone longing to be close to her. My sweet girl, on the razor’s edge of death, took in the beauty of the day.”
“We all make a choice daily, ‘Smile that it happened, or be sad that it has ended,’” Diaz wrote of his late wife. “I try to focus on remembering her and smile.”
Diaz carries Maynard’s driver’s license in his wallet, right above his.
“Whenever I’m paying for something at the grocery store, I see her picture,” he wrote. “I remember her day-to-day smile, her laugh, a conversation.”
“She’s the woman I love.”
Mom mourns her, too.
“I miss her terribly,” Ziegler wrote. “I am so proud to have been her mother that my heart is full to bursting. Brittany’s ashes lie amongst a grove of trees. She is home.”
Erika Murray Accused of Hiding Dead Babies So Boyfriend Wouldn’t Find Out About Them
Massachusetts woman Erika Murray is accused of killing two of her own children and neglecting others in one of the grisliest criminal cases in recent memory.
Murray pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including murder, at her arraignment Monday, while prosecutors painted a horrifying picture of Murray’s home.
Police reportedly found the bodies of three dead infants there in September. Four living children were removed from the residence following the discovery.
Assistant District Attorney John E. Bradley Jr. told the court that Erika Murray’s three-year-old “could not walk or talk” and seemed essentially deaf.
“Pediatricians had to literally clean the maggots out of her ears so that she was able to hear correctly,” he said, adding that she was “covered in feces.”
A six-month-old was also found in a room next door that had “stacks of soiled diapers that were piled about a foot or so high,” the prosecutor went on.
The body of one infant was found in a closet “wrapped in a pair of sweat pants,” he said. “The baby still had the umbilical cord and the placenta attached to it.”
Two other dead babies were found in closets. Erika Murray reportedly told police officials that one of the babies lived between 1-3 weeks before dying.
A 13-year-old and a 10-year-old taken from the Blackstone, Mass., home upon this horrifying discovery appeared to be unharmed. Physically, at least.
Authorities said Murray, 31, hid the babies from her live-in boyfriend Raymond Rivera, 38, because, for financial reasons, he did not want any more kids.
But the couple continued to have unprotected sex, and in turn, Murray became pregnant five times in seven years, which she tried to conceal from Rivera.
She delivered the infants alone in the bathroom, then took them upstairs “in an effort to hide the babies from her boyfriend,” the Boston Globe reports.
Rivera claimed he had no idea about the state of the upstairs bedrooms, but it was revealed that he’d been sleeping “just eight feet” from the babies’ remains.
He was arraigned as well on December 16, and faces seven charges, including two counts of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury.
Murray has not been charged with murder for the baby found with the umbilical cord still attached. Her lawyer called the other murder charges premature.
“There is not a single case in Massachusetts that supports a conviction of murder on evidence so speculative and so weak,” Keith Halpern stated.
He added that “The appropriate thing would have been to wait for the medical examiner’s report to be completed” and that Murray’s statements were inconsistent.
According to the attorney, his client “simply agreed with whatever they asked because it was her belief that if she went along with them she’d go home.”