Last August, my sister Betsy asked if I knew anything about using Bitcoin, a form of virtual currency.
It took me awhile to realize why she was asking: She wanted to buy a lethal amount of drugs and she didn’t want the purchase to be traceable.
A beautiful, outgoing, talented artist, Betsy was diagnosed with ALS in July 2013. It’s a cruel disease that slowly robs a person of the ability to move, speak, eat and, eventually, breathe. There is no treatment, let alone a cure, and there likely won’t be for several years.
Early on, she knew she’d rather take her own life than succumb to a disease that kills most of its patients through suffocation. Some ALS patients use ventilators and feeding tubes to prolong their lives, but that’s not what my sister wanted. Over the last year, I watched her increasingly struggle to eat and speak and do the simple things the rest of us take for granted, like scratch an itch or brush a stray hair from her eyes. No longer able to walk, she spent most of the day in bed.