Death with Dignity: Cancer Patient Decides to Commit Suicide after Husband's Birthday Celebration
Brittany Maynard wanted to die after her husband's birthday YouTube

The Vatican has condemned the assisted suicide of US right-to-die advocate Brittany Maynard as "absurd".

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Holy See's bioethics body said that the death of the 29-year-old was "reprehensible" for the way it came about.

"Dignity is something other than putting an end to one's own life," Carrasco de Paula, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life told the ANSA news agency.

"Brittany Maynard's act is in itself reprehensible, but what happened in the consciousness we do not know."

The clergymen added that although he didn't want to express a judgement on an individual, "but the gesture in and of itself should be condemned."

Maynard was diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year and spent her remaining months publicising her decision to die on her own terms.

She fulfilled her desire at her Portland home after taking a lethal cocktail of drugs earlier this week.

She planned to die on 1 November, after her husband's birthday, surrounded by her family following a failed operation to remove the malignant tumour.

"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!"