A terminally-ill woman, 41-year-old Betsy Davis, hosted a two-day “right to die party” at her California home that ended with the woman killing herself, via doctor-assisted suicide. Betsy Davis suffered from the debilitating disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and decided to take advantage of California’s recently passed doctor-assisted suicide laws. Davis became one of the first people in California to take a lethal dose of drugs prescribed by her doctor specifically for suicide, but decided to host a celebration of life party before her passing.
— The Union-Tribune (@sdut) August 11, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that Betsy Davis made the decision to end her own life, but wanted to do something special with her friends before going through with the suicide. She emailed all of her closest friends to inform them of her decision and to invite them to a two-day “right to die party” that would end with her taking a lethal dose of drugs and passing away peacefully at her home. Davis made an itinerary for her friends that included a variety of activities such as a showing of her favorite movie and takeout from her favorite local pizza joint. Betsy’s invitation even included the exact time that she planned to take the fatal drugs and slip into a coma.
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Friends say it was “very challenging,” but that they knew they had to be there for their friend.
“For me and everyone who was invited, it was very challenging to consider, but there was no question that we would be there for her. The idea to go and spend a beautiful weekend that culminates in their suicide — that is not a normal thing, not a normal, everyday occurrence. In the background of the lovely fun, smiles and laughter that we had that weekend was the knowledge of what was coming.”
Betsy wanted the focus of the party to be on the joys in her life and included just one rule on her invitation, no one was allowed to cry. Betsy’s sister, Kelly Davis, says that though she respected her sister’s decision to end her life and wanted to ensure that the celebration was tear-free, she says it was difficult and she had to step out of the room on numerous occasions.
“Obviously it was hard for me. It’s still hard for me. The worst was needing to leave the room every now and then, because I would get choked up. But people got it. They understood how much she was suffering and that she was fine with her decision. They respected that. They knew she wanted it to be a joyous occasion.”
The friends say the weekend celebration was filled with fun and that everyone had a good time together before ultimately saying their goodbyes and leaving Betsy to follow through with her plan to end her life peacefully. To end her life, Betsy took her first ride in a friend’s new Tesla to a hillside where she chose to take her final breaths.
The Denver Post Terminally ill woman holds party before assisted suicide The Denver Post Betsy Davis, third from… https://t.co/6A4ZtQy53S
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Though Betsy’s family and friends supported the woman’s decision to end her life, opponents of the new California assisted suicide law say that the laws could be used by people who don’t have insurance or are scared of medical bills. However, Betsy’s loved ones say that California’s doctor-assisted suicide laws allowed the young woman to die on her own terms and to have “the most beautiful death” anyone could ever ask for.
“What Betsy did gave her the most beautiful death that any person could ever wish for. By taking charge, she turned her departure into a work of art.”
What do you think about Betsy Davis’ “right to die party” leading up to her doctor-assisted suicide?
[Image via Betsy Davis/Queen of Plastics]