Brittany Maynard with her Great Dane, Charley
Courtesy Dan Diaz
10/23/2014 AT 07:05 PM EDT
“As a terminally ill patient, I find it disrespectful and disturbing when people discuss my personal health with details that are not accurate to push an agenda,” she wrote in a comment on the website for the Diane Rehm radio show, where Byock was scheduled to speak Thursday.
“I am Brittany Maynard and it concerns me that Dr. Ira Byock will speak on my ‘behalf’ at all again,” she wrote. “I watched a special on PBS where this same individual spoke about my case as though he knew personal details about me, saying some things that were quite frankly not true.”
And in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, she said she planned to end her life on Nov. 1, due to her rapidly deteriorating health.
In the wake of all the publicity about her decision, Byock, chief medical officer of the Providence Institute for Human Caring in Torrance, California, has been making the rounds of various national television and radio shows.
“My heart goes out to Brittany Maynard,” Byock said on the PBS Newshour on Oct. 14. “But I want to assure people watching that she could get excellent whole-person care and be assured of dying gently in her bed surrounded by her family.” Not so, says Maynard.
“He said that a gentle death would be available to me easily through hospice,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, that would be after a great length of time, with lots of suffering (physical and emotional), and loss for my young body.”
And then there was this.
“Unfortunately, while not being coerced, she is being exploited by Compassion & Choices,” he said. “And I think that’s a tragedy. I worry what will happen if her life still feels worth living on Nov. 1. Will she then feel compelled to end her life in order to meet the public’s expectations?”
Maynard furiously denied she feels compelled to die now “based on public expectations.”
“I DO NOT,” she wrote. “This MY choice. I am not that weak. The day is my choice. I have the right to change my mind at any time. It is my right. I am very confident about this.”
Nor is she being exploited by Compassion & Choices, she says.
“I had gone through the entire process of moving, physician approval for DWD, and filled my prescription before I EVER even spoke to anyone at Compassion & Choices about volunteering and decided to share my story.”
Furthermore, “I am not depressed or suicidal or on a ‘slippery slope,’ ” she wrote. “I have been in charge of this choice, gaining control of a terrifying terminal disease through the application of my own humane logic.”
Byock did not respond to a request for comment but did address Maynard’s comments when asked about them by Diane Rehm.
“It’s personally hard for me to hear that I’ve caused this young woman more distress,” he said. But “I do in fact disagree with a number of the things she said.”
“One of the things I disagree with is that Brittany Maynard has just said again that she thinks it’s her personal choice,” he said. “But physician-assisted suicide is not a personal act. It’s a social act.”