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Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life

Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life
Brittany Maynard ~ Courtesy Brittany Maynard
Excerpt from People
by Nicole Weisensee Egan
Brittany Maynard, who became the public face of the controversial right-to-die movement over the last few weeks, ended her own life Saturday at her home in Portland, Oregon. She was 29.

"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more," she wrote on Facebook. "The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!"

Doctors told Maynard she had six months to live last spring after she was diagnosed with a likely stage 4 glioblastoma. She made headlines around the world when she announced she intended to die – under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act – by taking a fatal dose of barbiturates, prescribed to her by a doctor, when her suffering became too great.

"My glioblastoma is going to kill me and that's out of my control," she told PEOPLE last month. "I've discussed with many experts how I would die from it and it's a terrible, terrible way to die. So being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying."

On Oct. 6, she launched an online video campaign with Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life choice advocacy organization, to fight for expanding death-with-dignity laws nationwide.

"For people to argue against this choice for sick people really seems evil to me," she told PEOPLE. "They try to mix it up with suicide and that's really unfair, because there's not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying."

Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life| Cancer, Health, Medicine, Real People Stories, Brittany Maynard
Brittany Maynard
Nigel Parry

A Heartbreaking Choice

Arriving at her decision was a gradual one, she said.

"It's not a decision you make one day and you snap your fingers," she told PEOPLE.

"Really, from the beginning, all the doctors said when you have a glioma you're going to die," she told PEOPLE. "You can just Google it. People don't survive this disease. Not yet."

After researching her options, she decided not to try chemotherapy or radiation.

"They didn't seem to make sense for me," she said, because of "the level of side effects I would suffer and it wouldn't save my life. I've been told pretty much no matter what, I'm going to die – and treatments would extend my life but affect the quality pretty negatively."

In June, she moved to Oregon with her husband, Dan Diaz, 43, her mother, Debbie Ziegler, 56 , and her stepfather, Gary Holmes, 72, so she could have access to the state's Death with Dignity Act, which allows physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to certain terminally ill patients.

"I still smile and laugh with my family and friends enough that it doesn't seem like the right time now," she said in the video recorded Oct. 13 and 14, "but it will come because I feel myself getting sicker; it's happening each week."

Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life| Cancer, Health, Medicine, Real People Stories, Brittany Maynard
Brittany Maynard and Dan Diaz at Olympic National Park in Washington state in August
Courtesy Brittany Maynard

Her Final Months

Maynard spent the last months of her life making the most of the time she had left. She traveled to Alaska, British Columbia and Yellowstone National Park with her loved ones and explored more local attractions like Olympic National Park in Washington.

On Oct. 21, she and her family took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, a place she'd been longing to see before she died.

"It was breathtakingly beautiful," she said in a statement.

The following morning, though, she had her "worst seizure" so far, she said: "The seizure was a harsh reminder that my symptoms continue to worsen as the tumor runs its course."

Maynard said she was deeply touched by the "outpouring of support" she got after going public with her diagnosis and her decision.

"I want to thank people for that, for the words of kindness, for the time they've taken in personal ways," she told PEOPLE.

"And then beyond that, to encourage people to make a difference," she said. "If they can relate to my story, if they agree with this issue on a philosophical level, to get out there and do what we need to do to make a change in this country."

Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life| Cancer, Health, Medicine, Real People Stories, Brittany Maynard
Brittany Maynard and her mother, Debbie Ziegler, in Alaska in May
Courtesy Brittany Maynard


Maynard also talked to PEOPLE about her legacy.

"For me what matters most is the way I'm remembered by my family and my husband as a good woman who did my best to be a good wife and a good daughter," she said.

"Beyond that, getting involved with this campaign, I hope to be making a difference here," she said. "If I'm leaving a legacy, it's to change this health-care policy or be a part of this change of this health-care policy so it becomes available to all Americans. That would be an enormous contribution to make, even if I'm just a piece of it."

Before she died, Maynard asked her husband and her mother if they would carry on the work she started to get death with dignity passed in every state.

"I want to work on the cause," Ziegler told PEOPLE last month. "I have so much admiration for people who are terminally ill and just fight and fight. They are so dignified and brave. This is a different choice, but it is also brave and dignified."

She also shared with them her hopes and dreams for their future. Upstairs in the home she shares with her family are neatly wrapped Christmas and birthday gifts for her loved ones for the next year.

"She made it clear she wants me to live a good life," Ziegler says.

In her second video, Maynard, who is an only child, said she hoped her mother does not "break down" or "suffer from any kind of depression."

And for Diaz, "I hope he moves on and becomes a father," she said. "There's no part of me that wants him to live out the rest of his life just missing his wife."

Terminally Ill Woman Brittany Maynard Has Ended Her Own Life| Cancer, Health, Medicine, Real People Stories, Brittany Maynard
Brittany Maynard (third from left) and her family at the Grand Canyon Oct. 21
Courtesy Brittany Maynard

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Partial Solar Eclipse Thursday ~ Next Eclipse Not Until 2017


This gives you an idea of how much of the sun will
This chart will give you an idea of how much of the sun will be blocked by the moon at the height of the eclipse, depending on where you live. (Photo: Doyle Rice and Frank Pompa, USA TODAY; Source: NASA)
 
Excerpt from usatoday.com

Don't forget to look up Thursday.

In the afternoon, a partial solar eclipse — where the moon covers a part of the sun — will be visible across much of the USA, barring any pesky clouds that could block the show. 

The eclipse will occur over most of North America — except for a small slice of eastern Canada and eastern New England, said meteorologist Joe Rao of Space.com.


In most of the eastern half of the USA and Canada, the eclipse will still be in progress at sunset — offering dramatic views if you can find a low western horizon, according to Sky and Telescope. In New York City, the eclipse starts at 5:49 p.m. ET and will last until the sun sets at 6:03 p.m. ET.

However, "people who live east of a line running from roughly Quebec City to Montauk Point, N.Y., will miss out on the solar show, since the sun will set before the dark disc of the moon begins to encroach upon it," Rao said.


During a solar eclipse, the sun, moon and Earth form a nearly straight line, with the moon in the middle. The moon temporarily blocks the sun in select areas on Earth.
Unless you use a special filter, such as welder's glasses, never look directly at the sun during the eclipse, or at any time for that matter. Universe Today warns that dangerous ultraviolet and infrared light focused on your retinas will damage your vision for the rest of your life.

Your camera also needs a special filter in order to photograph the eclipse.

The USA's next solar eclipse — which will be a total eclipse — won't occur until August 2017.

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All About Colloidal Silver

by Gregg Prescott, M.S. Editor, In5D.comThere's a good reason why the FDA does not approve colloidal silver and even better reasons why you should look into the benefits of colloidal silver.I recently experienced a toothache on one of my molars and found that my gums were very sensitive, so I looked into holistic treatments to find a remedy for my pain.  One such remedy is colloidal silver.Upon researching colloidal silver, I found numerous testimonies to its effectiveness, yet co [...]

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Another reality bending discovery? Princeton researchers spot particle that behaves like matter and antimatter at the SAME TIME

Excerpt from  theregister.co.ukScientists at Princeton are reporting the first observation of Majorana fermion, a particle first predicted over 70 years ago that behaves like matter and antimatter at the same time.Finding the Majorana fermion on...

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Quantum: The Microscopic Universe ~ Quantum computers may one day transform our world

Within our immense universe lies a lesser-known world of tiny particles. From strange neutrinos that pass right through matter to mysterious objects with names like MACHOs and WIMPs. Find out how this miniature world might hold the key to understan...

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India’s Mars mission: A Picture that Spoke 1,000 words

When the crowded command control room of India's Mars mission exploded into applause after it successfully put a satellite into orbit around the Red Planet, photographer Manjunath Kiran of the AFP news agency clicked this remarkable image of scienti...

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THERE ARE NO BLACK HOLES, ONLY GREY HOLES, CLAIMS STEPHEN HAWKING




dailymail.co.uk

Earlier this year Professor Stephen Hawking shocked physicists by saying 'there are no black holes'.
In a paper published online, Professor Hawking instead argues there are 'grey holes'
'The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes - in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape to infinity,' he says in the paper, called Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting For Black Holes.
He says that the idea of an event horizon, from which light cannot escape, is flawed.
He suggests that instead light rays attempting to rush away from the black hole’s core will be held as though stuck on a treadmill and that they can slowly shrink by spewing out radiation.  
One of the reasons black holes are so bizarre is that they pit two fundamental theories of the universe against each other.
Namely, Einstein’s theory of gravity predicts the formation of black holes. But a fundamental law of quantum theory states that no information from the universe can ever disappear.
Efforts to combine these two theories proved problematic, and has become known as the black hole information paradox - how can matter permanently disappear in a black hole as predicted?
Professor Mersini-Houghton’s new theory does manage to mathematically combine the two fundamental theories, but with unwanted effects for people expecting black holes to exist.
‘Physicists have been trying to merge these two theories - Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum mechanics - for decades, but this scenario brings these two theories together, into harmony,’ said Professor Mersini-Houghton.
‘And that’s a big deal.’

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U.S. Creates Largest Protected Area in the World ~ 3X Larger than California


Photo of fish swimming in the Palmyra Atoll.
A school of fish swims under the water around Palmyra Atoll, in an area of the Pacific that is already part of a marine sanctuary.
Photograph by Randy Olson, National Geographic



By Brian Clark Howard




NEW YORK—The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will create the largest marine reserve in the world by expanding an existing monument around U.S.-controlled islands and atolls in the central Pacific.


The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will now be nearly 490,000 square miles, nearly three times the size of California and six times larger than its previous size. Commercial fishing, dumping, and mining will be prohibited in the reserve, but recreational fishing will be allowed with permits, and boaters may visit the area.


The protected area that Secretary of State John Kerry announced this morning is actually smaller than the 782,000 square miles that the president initially considered. But environmentalists, preservationists, and conservation groups that had pushed for the expansion called President Barack Obama's designation a historic victory in their efforts to limit the impact of fishing, drilling, and other activities that threaten some of the world's most species-rich waters.

Map of the pacific remote islands.
MAGGIE SMITH, NG STAFF. SOURCES: U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE; USGS; MARINE CONSERVATION INSTITUTE


"What has happened is extraordinary. It is history making. There is a lot of reason we should be celebrating right now," said Elliott Norse, founder and chief scientist of the Seattle-based Marine Conservation Institute.


Enric Sala, an ocean scientist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, called the newly expanded monument "a great example of marine protection."


During the past several years, Sala and National Geographic's Pristine Seas project—which aims to explore, survey, and protect several of the last wild places in the world's oceans—have been key players in expeditions to the region that helped to put a spotlight on its biodiversity. Sala also met with White House officials to make the scientific case for expanding the Pacific Remote Islands monument. 


Photo of a sea anemone providing cover for a transparent shrimp in Kingman Reef, Pacific Ocean.
Tentacles of a sea anemone provide cover for a transparent shrimp in Kingman Reef, which is part of the existing marine sanctuary. Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic Creative


In announcing the expansion of protected marine areas, Kerry said, “We’re committed to protecting more of the world's ocean. Today, one to three percent of the ocean is protected, that's it. That's why President Obama will sign a proclamation today that will create one of the largest maritime protected areas in the world. It will be protected in perpetuity.”

Michael Boots, chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, made clear that by expanding protected areas, the administration sought to balance the need to preserve a range of marine species with concerns from the fishing industry, which had warned about the economic impact of curtailing deep-sea fishing areas.

"We thought [the monument decision] was a good way to balance what the science was telling us was important to protect and the needs of those who use the area," Boots said.


The administration said in a statement late Wednesday that "expanding the monument will more fully protect the deep coral reefs, seamounts, and marine ecosystems unique to this part of the world, which are also among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification."


In June, when he first announced his intent to expand the monument, Obama said, "I'm using my authority as president to protect some of our nation's most pristine marine monuments, just like we do on land."


The June announcement was followed by a public comment period and further analysis by the White House, officials said. Thousands of people submitted comments, with many conservation groups and scientists offering their support. Some fishing and cannery groups, as well as a few members of the U.S. Congress opposed the expansion, citing the potential a loss of commercial fishing grounds. 


Norse said that the newly protected areas will safeguard endangered seabirds and other key species, including five endangered sea turtle species (such as loggerheads and leatherbacks), sooty terns and other terns, silky sharks and oceanic whitetip sharks, beaked whales, manta rays, red-tailed tropic birds, and deep-sea corals.

The expanded monument will help ensure that "there are some places that are as pristine as possible for as long as possible," Norse said. "I think a hundred years from now, people will be praising Barack Obama for having the vision to protect the Pacific remote islands."


"A Big Step"


Obama's Democratic administration is building on a national monument that was first created by his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, suggesting that "ocean protection may be one of the last bipartisan issues" in the politically divided United States, says David Helvarg, the author of several books on the ocean and the founder of the advocacy group Blue Frontier Campaign.

Democratic and Republican presidents going all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican who served from 1901 to 1909, have used the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate national monuments. The law requires simply that an area be unique and considered worthy of protection for future generations. This is the 12th time Obama has used his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect environmental areas.

The area being protected by the administration will expand the protected areas from 50 miles offshore to 200 miles offshore around three areas—Wake Island, Johnston Atoll, and Jarvis Island—the maximum reach of the United States’ exclusive economic zone. The current 50-mile offshore protections around the Howland and Baker islands, and Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll, will not change.


"Although 71 percent of our planet is covered with saltwater, we have protected much more of the land than the ocean," Helvarg said. But the newly expanded monument is a big step in the right direction, he added.

Enforcing fishing bans in the monument will be a big challenge, Kerry acknowledged. "Agreements won't matter if no one is enforcing them," he said. "It's going to take training and resources."
Kerry said one measure that could help deter illegal fishing in the region, as well as around the world, would be to implement the Port State Measures Agreement, an international treaty that requires member nations to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the market. Eleven nations or parties have ratified the agreement, but a total of 25 must sign before the treaty will take effect.

"Our goal is to get this done this year," Kerry said.


Meanwhile, efforts to preserve more biologically diverse waters continue.


This week, National Geographic Society announced that it is dramatically expanding its campaign to help protect marine areas, with a goal of persuading governments to officially safeguard more than 770,000 square miles.


The plan, announced by former President Bill Clinton, includes programs that target the Seychelles—an archipelago in the Indian Ocean—northern Greenland, and South America's Patagonia region. The program builds on National Geographic's Pristine Seas project, which has financed ten scientific expeditions to remote areas of ocean around the world, including in the South Pacific and off Africa, Russia, and South America.

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