1935: Instead of allowing incurable breast cancer run its deadly course, the American writer and social reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman inhaled chloroform to bring her life to a close.
“When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one,” she wrote in her suicide note. “I have preferred chloroform to cancer.”
Source: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography (1935), pp. 333, 334