This July 24, 2016 photo provided by Niels Alpert, Amanda Friedland, left, surrounded by friends and family adjusts her friend Betsy Davis’s sash as she lays on a bed during her “Right To Die Party” in Ojai, Calif. In early July, Davis emailed her closest friends and family to invite them to a two-day celebration, telling them: “These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness, and openness. And one rule: No crying.” (Niels Alpert via AP)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California woman with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held a two-day party for her friends and relatives to say goodbye before taking her life with a dose of prescribed drugs.
Betsy Davis, 41, became one of the first Californians to make use a new state law allowing doctor-assisted suicide. Four other states have such laws, with Oregon the first in 1997.
Davis shared her plans with her guests, giving them a detailed schedule for the weekend that included the hour she planned to slip into a coma.
There were cocktails. There was pizza from her favorite local joint. There was a screening of one of her favorite movies. And then her friends said their goodbyes and left.
Davis was wheeled out to a canopy bed on a hillside and took her own life.