Maynard lobbied Gov. Brown on aid-in-dying bill just before her death

Dan Diaz

Dan Diaz, the husband of Brittany Maynard, watches a video of his wife, recorded 19 days before her assisted suicide death. In the video, Maynard asked California lawmakers to adopt an aid-in-dying law.

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

As one of her last acts before she took her own life, Brittany Maynard talked by telephone with California Gov. Jerry Brown about her desire to see her home state adopt an aid-in-dying law, her husband says.

Maynard is the 29-year-old former Californian who decided to move to Oregon after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer so she could take advantage of that state’s law allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs so patients can hasten their own deaths.

Before she took her own life on Nov. 1, Maynard videotaped a plea to California lawmakers to adopt a law similar to Oregon’s.

Dan Diaz, her husband, told The Times that Maynard was surprised but pleased when Brown agreed to talk to her on the telephone while she was in Portland, Ore., in October.


“It was the last week of Brittany’s life,” Diaz said. “She was appreciative of the opportunity to give the governor a firsthand account of why she was in favor of similar legislation in California.”

Evan Westrup, a Brown spokesman, confirmed that the governor spoke to Maynard but said the governor has not taken a position on legislation.

“They had a conversation prior to her passing,” he said.

Diaz also declined to say what Brown told Maynard during the conversation but confirmed that the governor did not make any commitment on legislation.


“He was very generous in taking her call,” Diaz said. “She was able to say why hopefully he would consider why this is right for the state of California as well,” Diaz said. “It was a good conversation.”

A bill that would allow terminally ill Californians to end their life with drugs prescribed by physicians was approved by the state Senate on Thursday and sent to the Assembly for consideration.

The bill is opposed by the California Catholic Conference. Brown nearly became a Catholic priest when he was younger. “This is a governor who will struggle with this issue, given his background,” Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis), a bill co-author, said in March at a hearing on the measure.

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