Watch LIVE

The Email Brittany Maynard Sent Just Hours Before Taking Her Own Life


"I never expected she would respond..."

This undated photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard. The terminally ill California woman moved to Portland, Ore., to take advantage of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which was established in the 1990s. Maynard wants to pass a similar law in California and has turned to advocacy in her final days. (AP Photo/Maynard Family)

In an email sent to a supporter just hours before her death, Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill woman who ended her life on November 1, doubled down on her death-with-dignity stance, saying that stories like hers put a human face on a topic that "many politicians are happy to sweep under the rug."

Maynard reportedly sent the email in response to a message she received on October 30 from Barbara Mancini, a woman who was arrested and prosecuted in 2013 after she allegedly failed to stop her terminally-ill father from committing suicide; she was later exonerated.

Mancini wrote the initial email after being inspired by Maynard's very public battle with an issue close to her own heart.

"In the note, I told her I admired what she was doing. I felt it was selfless and courageous," she told ABC News. "I never expected she would respond because it was late October and I knew she was having daily seizures and she was getting worse all the time."

This undated photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard. (Image source: AP/Maynard Family) This undated photo provided by the Maynard family shows Brittany Maynard. (AP/Maynard Family)

Maynard emailed back, though, just hours before ending her own life, telling Mancini that she was familiar with her legal battle, which concluded in February.

"It meant so much for me to receive your kind letter the other day, especially as I'm preparing for my own passing," Maynard wrote, according to People. "Yes, I am familiar with the history of your case and have always been appalled that it was ever litigated."

Maynard said that she was sorry that Mancini had to endure a legal battle over her father's death and that it was clear she was doing the best she could to care for him, calling it a "difficult job."

"Stories like yours and mine put human faces on a controversial topic that many politicians are happy to sweep under the rug," she wrote. "I wish I could have had the pleasure of meeting you in person."

After receiving the letter, Mancini, a nurse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said that she was touched and that she plans to continue her fight for doctor-assisted suicide for competent, terminal patients.

Read more about Maynard's story here.


Most recent
All Articles