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Brittany Maynard’s profound legacy on end-of-life options

Kim Callinan and Dan Diaz

November 1, 2019

On Oct. 6, 2014, Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill, 29-year-old California woman, partnered with Compassion & Choices to make an impact on end-of-life care options that continues to this day. Ever since then, this partnership has super-charged the introduction and passage of medical aid-in-dying laws across the nation, increasing the number of people nationwide who have access to this option to peacefully end unbearable suffering by more than five-fold.

The partnership launched with a YouTube video that more than 12 million people have watched. The video describes why Brittany and her family had to move to Oregon, so she could utilize its medical aid-in-dying law to peacefully end her intolerable suffering from terminal brain cancer because California did not have such a law. The campaign generated global digital-media attention, drawing more than 6 million unique viewers from nearly 240 countries to the Compassion & Choices website. A YouGov poll three weeks after the campaign launch showed 38% of American adults — 93 million people — had heard her story and knew that she advocated for medical aid in dying.

Read the full article featured in the San Francisco Chronicle here.


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