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A terminally ill woman from California has made headlines worldwide after she held a two-day party with her close friends and family before taking her own life.
Betsy Davis spent the last three years losing control of her body due to ALS, a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells.
The 41-year-old emailed her close friends and family and explained: "These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina... and openness."
She also asked them to refrain from crying in front of her.
Betsy is one of the Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state's new doctor-assisted suicide law.
Betsy Davis suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease but before dying she threw a two-day party for her closest friends. https://t.co/qlwHlxOe0J
- India Today (@IndiaToday) 12 August 2016
More than 30 people attended the party which was held in the Southern California mountain town of Ojai.
"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," said Niels Alpert, a cinematographer from New York City.
According to reports, Betsy kissed her friends goodbye before she left and then took a combination of morphine, pentobarbital and chloral.
Whatever your views are on assisted suicide, this is an incredibly touching story.
Rest in peace, Betsy.
Words by Sian Broderick
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