AP Photo/TheBrittanyFund.org, File
In this Oct. 21, 2014, file photo provided by TheBrittanyFund.org, Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who plans to die under Oregon's law that allows the terminally ill to end their own lives, and her husband Dan Diaz pose at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Sean Crowley, spokesman from the group Compassion & Choices, said late Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, that Maynard was surrounded by family Saturday when she took lethal medication prescribed by a doctor and died. She was weeks shy of her 30th birthday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Brittany Maynard's mother is responding angrily to the Vatican's criticism of Maynard's decision to end her life early under an Oregon law written to let terminally ill patients die on their own terms.

Days after Maynard's Nov. 1 death at age 29, the Vatican's top bioethics official called her choice "reprehensible" and said physician-assisted suicide should be condemned.

Maynard's mother, Debbie Ziegler, issued a sharp written response Tuesday. She says the Vatican official's comments came as the family was grieving and were "more than a slap in the face."

Her response was made through Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that Maynard worked with.

Maynard had brain cancer and used her story to speak out for the right of terminally ill people like herself to end their lives on their own terms. Some religious groups and social conservatives also have criticized her decision.

The story so far:

A 29-year-old bride with a brain tumor says she's chosen to end her own life soon, but a fellow cancer victim says that's wrong

What people are saying about the right to die

Days before deadline, brain cancer victim may not choose to die

Brittany Maynards death: Does suffering have spiritual meaning?