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 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.
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.
The release of never-before-seen excerpts of Maynard’s original video, recorded in Aug. 2014, which launched this historic partnership one year ago today on Oct. 6, 2014, comes one day after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a death-with-dignity bill inspired by her to become law.
“Brittany came on the scene and set in motion a chain of events leading to the passage of an aid-in-dying bill through the California legislature less than one year after her death. We had been trying to do that since 1991,” says Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, who coauthored the Oregon death-with-dignity law. “In 2014, there were aid-in-dying bills in four states. Immediately after Brittany’s emergence on the scene, lawmakers in 25 jurisdictions, plus the District of Columbia, introduced bills.”
Brittany Maynard’s Story, Victory in Nation’s Most Populous State Will Have Ripple Effect for Death-With-Dignity Movement
(Sacramento, Calif. – Oct. 5, 2015) Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of California’s End of Life Option Act today should spur legislators in other states to advance bills to allow terminally ill adults the option of medical aid in dying to end unbearable suffering, advocates say.
“This is the biggest victory for the death-with-dignity movement since Oregon passed the nation’s first law two decades ago,” said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, a lawyer, former ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant, who coauthored the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.
“This victory is hugely significant in both substance and scope,” Coombs Lee observed. “Enactment of this law in California means we are providing this option to more than 1 in 10 Americans.” (more…)
Earlier today, we made history. Almost exactly one year after Brittany Maynard became the face of our movement, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End Of Life Option Act into law.
California is now the fifth U.S. state to authorize aid in dying, and by far the biggest and most influential. This achievement will resonate throughout our country, and inspire other states to follow suit.
Please take a look at the governor’s personal and heartfelt signing statement.
In a historic vote, the California Assembly approved a medical aid-in-dying bill on September 9, 2015. The bill passed with bipartisan support for the first time in history, only two weeks after the legislation was introduced in the special session.
The Assembly passed the bill, called the End of Life Option Act (ABX2-15), by a vote of 44 to 35. It now moves to the Senate, which passed a similar version of the legislation (SB-128) in June. The authors face a deadline of Friday, September 11 to pass ABX2-15. Read more here.