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Active Euthanasia Dysphagic ALS patient Betsy Davis celebrates farewell party

Betsy Davis is one of the first people to seek active euthanasia in California. Shortly before her death she celebrated a farewell party with friends and her family.

Here Betsy Davis laughs radiantly into the camera.
Photo: picture alliance / dpa

Friends and family were allowed to do what they wanted: whether they wanted to dance, sing, laugh or pray, everything was allowed at Betsy Davis' farewell party . Nobody should cry. The 41-year-old ALS patient had expressly requested this.

In 2013, Betsy Davis was diagnosed with ALS. In 2016, the 41-year-old could no longer stand, even brushing her teeth and even talking was difficult.

In early July 2016, she sent an email to friends and family members inviting her to a very special celebration. To put it in Betsy's words, "The circumstances are different than any party he's ever visited, and they require emotional stamina, centeredness, and openness."

From July 23 to 24, Betsy wanted to celebrate with the most important people in her life together her last hours in this world. She had decided to be one of the first people to commit suicide following the introduction of the new law on active euthanasia in California.

Betsy Davis umringt von Freunden und Familie bei ihrer Abschiedsparty
Betsy Davis is surrounded by friends and family on her last weekend before her death.
Photo: picture alliance / dpa

For the weekend Betsy set up a detailed plan. Even when she was supposed to take the drugs that would end her life, she decided in advance.

This weekend, which will probably be remembered by friends and family members for a lifetime, was danced, laughed, played music and eaten together. In addition, the guests watched one of their favorite films with Betsy. Only one rule had set the artist before her celebration: No one should shed tears in front of her.

Finally, everyone said goodbye to Betsy. She experienced her last moments on the top of a hill, where she took the medications prescribed by her doctor and finally let her sleep peacefully.

Betsy's sister Kelly Davis wrote for the news portal Voice of San Diego that she would love her sister for this encounter. "Of course it was hard for me, it's still hard for me, the worst thing was having to leave the room all the time because of tears, but people got it, they understood how much she was suffering and that she was fine with her decision, they respected her, they knew she wanted it to be a happy event. "

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