A willingness to die for your faith is a common meme in christianity.
Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch in Syria was arrested sometime around 110 C.E.evidently for his christian activity. He was not tried in Antioch. but was sent to Rome (with an armed guard) for a trial and likely execution. During the journey to Rome various local congregations greeted him and he in turn later wrote to them updates about his feelings and reactions. Seven of these letters have survived. One of them ( the letter to Roman Christians) is remarkable, as it pleads with the Roman Christians not to interfere with his trial. Ignatius makes it clear that he wants to be torn to pieces by wild animals as a martyr for Jesus.
Here's some extracts from this letter:
May I have the good fortune to meet my fate without interference....
Grant me no more than to be a sacrifice for God while there is an altar at hand/
The greatness of Christianity lies in its being hated by the world.
I would rather that you fawn on the beasts so that they may be my tomb and no scrap of my body be left. This, when I have fallen asleep ... Then I shall be a real disciple of jesus christ.
What a thrill I shall have from the wild beasts that are ready for me.
I suggest that a basic instinct in all life is an instinct to survive, Yet somehow this desire is perverted in some christians and replaced by the attitude exhibited by Ignatius,
And JWs are not the only ones who exhibit this meme. As well as the young man discussed in this thread, there have been a few cases of a similar fate for some christians who have wanted to 'convert' some north Koreans.