She chose to end her life on her own terms
On April 19, 2009, surrounded by close family, Nancy swallowed a mixture of applesauce and powdered barbiturates that would cause her to fall asleep and never wake up. Nancy, aged 58, had Lou Gehrig’s disease, the progressive and incurable disorder destroys nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements. In January 2009, Nancy was almost completely incapacitated and relied on her family, friends, and hospice workers for care. A neurologist determined that Nancy was within six months of dying. Under Oregon law, if she were going to hasten her death, she had to be able to swallow a lethal dose of medication by herself.