My dream is that every terminally ill American has access to the choice to die on their own terms with dignity. Please take an active role to make this a reality.

Brittany Maynard
In October of 2014, a six-minute video featuring a young woman named Brittany Maynard transformed the conversation about death with dignity. Americans in every state answered her call and legislators responded. The progress has been breathtaking, and there is more to do.

C&C Observes Day of Gratitude

November 19, 2015, was our first ever Day of Gratitude, in honor of Brittany Maynard’s birthday. Because Brittany shared her story and touched the lives of millions of people, more than half of the states introduced aid in dying legislation in 2015.

This is an unprecedented amount of support and we are so grateful to Brittany and the more than 200 legislators who have joined in this movement.

When Brittany died there were only four states that allowed a terminally ill individual the option of Medical Aid in Dying. As of 2022, there are now 11 states. Brittany’s story continues to make a significant impact on this movement.

Brittany’s Legacy — One Year Later

Although Brittany Maynard’s death was one year ago today, her spirit lives on. She was a bright, vibrant light who cared about her community, her family, and the world she left behind. She was a tireless advocate for end-of-life choice and her passion for justice changed the world. We remember her, and honor her wishes everyday by working to ensure that every American has the end-of-life options she fought so hard for. Our gratitude is immeasurable.

In Honor of Brittany’s Dedication to Expand End-of-Life Options, Please Sign the Card

Brittany’s courage at the end of her life and her selflessness in her final days were monumental in our mission to provide relief to those suffering at the end of life.

Because of Brittany, her family and friends, and the millions of Americans moved to action by her story, death-with-dignity legislation was introduced in half of all US states this year. And after our recent victory in California, one quarter of all Americans are now guaranteed a full range of end-of-life options.

About Brittany Maynard

In the spring of 2014, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard learned that she had terminal brain cancer. After careful assessment of her prognosis and end-of-life options, she and her family reluctantly decided to move from their San Francisco Bay Area home to Oregon, one of five states that authorized death with dignity at the time. Aid in dying was authorized in California in October 2015.

Brittany recognized it is unfair that the vast majority of people cannot access death with dignity because they do not have the resources and time to uproot their family, seek appropriate medical care and establish a support system in a different state.

After getting settled in Oregon, Brittany approached Compassion & Choices, the nation’s leading end-of-life choice advocacy organization, and asked how she could help advocate for more options for terminally ill Americans.

Brittany agreed to be interviewed on film regarding death with dignity because of her strong belief in the ethics of this basic healthcare and human right. Her first video, posted to on October 6, 2014, was viewed more than 9 million times in its first month.

Every member of the Compassion & Choices team was humbled by Brittany’s courage and generosity, and continues striving to honor her gift to the end-of-life choice movement. Brittany Maynard’s voice and her story did more than she could have known to advance end-of-life options and aid in dying across the country. It is a legacy to be proud of.

brittany and dan wedding
Brittany Maynard, 1984 – 2014 With Her Husband Dan Diaz
Compassion & Choices Supporters holding signs.

About Compassion & Choices

As the oldest and largest organization working to improve care, expand options and empower everyone to chart their end-of-life journey.

Compassion & Choices is leading efforts to authorize, implement and defend medical aid in dying so all terminally ill people who are eligible will have access to the full range of end-of-life care options. Every American should have the sense of peace that Brittany sought — without having to uproot their life and leave their home. The Brittany Maynard Fund, an initiative of Compassion & Choices, is being used to advance this effort.

Compassion & Choices uses legal strategies, ballot measures and legislative efforts to make aid in dying accessible in states across the nation. Campaigns are underway in many states pushing for improved end-of-life care and to make aid in dying an authorized, regulated medical practice. Where aid in dying is already authorized, Compassion & Choices runs ongoing education campaigns for the public and healthcare providers to expand access.

Compassion & Choices’ End of Life Consultation (EOLC) program provides free, confidential support anywhere in the country with trained experts who help people improve the quality of life they have left, achieve a peaceful death or plan ahead.

The Compassion & Choices website contains various resources to help families and individuals make their end-of-life plans and make their wishes known so they can avoid unnecessary suffering in their final days.

What is Medical Aid in Dying?

A trusted and time-tested medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep.

Also known as aid in dying, it is a medical practice in which a terminally ill and mentally competent adult requests, and a doctor prescribes, a life-ending medication the person self-administers when and if they choose. Three quarters of Americans (74%) support the option of medical aid in dying, according to the 2020 Gallup Poll. Support is high across all demographic groups surveyed. Read more about support for medical aid in dying in the latest polls. Medical aid in dying is authorized in 11 jurisdictions: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, which Brittany Maynard accessed, was the first in the nation. Its 17-year history shows that death-with-dignity laws are safe and work as designed. It has been thoroughly documented by the state health department, investigated by medical researchers and monitored by the news media.

Aid in dying is voluntary. An eligible person can request the prescription, but no doctor is obligated to provide it. Once a prescription is written, the patient chooses when and whether to fill it — or take it. Many people never take it. Simply having the choice provides people a sense of peace in the face of uncertainty and fear that their suffering might be unbearable. It allows people the freedom to die in control, with dignity.
Brittany and Dan on their wedding day, September 2012
Brittany Maynard, 1984 – 2014 With Her Husband Dan Diaz


Brittany's Videos

Brittany's First Video
A Video For My Friends
Brittany’s Message to Legislators
New Video Shows Impact of Brittany Maynard’s Message
Take Action for Brittany

Ongoing Advocacy

Brittany Maynard’s Husband Tells Megyn Kelly About Her Decision To Die
Watch Oprah’s Interview With Brittany’s Husband, Dan on OWN
gorsuch assisted suicide testimony
Physician-assisted suicide an issue for nominee Gorsuch
Dan Diaz sits down with Meredith Vieira

Share Your Story

Each of our voices holds great power. The astounding publicity one young woman generated telling her story – plainly relaying her sadness and brave resolve – proves how impactful sharing our beliefs, experiences and emotions can be.

Add the power of your own voice to the drive to expand end-of-life choice in America. Why do you support death with dignity? What does this movement mean to you? Have you experienced a peaceful or tragic death? How would the ability to control your own terminal illness make you feel?

Tell us so that we can share it with others. The heart and truth of your personal story can help change minds, change laws, change the world.

Take Action

I won’t live to see the death-with-dignity movement reach critical mass, but I call on you to carry it forward.

Brittany Maynard
Many lawmakers know Brittany Maynard’s story by now, and many more will know soon as Brittany’s husband, Dan Diaz, speaks out and urges supporters to action. But in order to be moved to act, they need to hear how important access to death with dignity is to you. Stand with Dan and tell them in a letter.

Writing letters is a powerful way to impact lawmakers’ views. It is simple and highly effective. And the more letters lawmakers receive about the demand for end-of-life choice, the more significant the issue will become to them – and the more likely they will be to introduce or support a death-with-dignity law in your state.
We’ve included a letter that will go directly to your local legislator. Please consider personalizing it with your own reasoning or connection to the issue to make it even more compelling.
Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

Mail contributions directly to:
Compassion & Choices Gift Processing Center
PO Box 485
Etna, NH 03750