Judith Katherine Dunning had been waiting anxiously for California to adopt legislation that would make it legal for her to end her life.
The cancer in her brain was progressing despite several rounds of treatment. At 68, she spent most of her day asleep and needed an aide to help with basic tasks.
More centrally, Ms. Dunning — who, poignantly, had worked as an oral historian in Berkeley, Calif. — was losing her ability to speak. Even before the End of Life Option Actbecame law, in October 2015, she had recorded a video expressing her desire to hasten her death.
The video, she hoped, would make her wishes clear, in case there were any doubts later on.