Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Retired nurse had doctor kill her at euthanasia clinic to avoid growing old

Gill Pharaoh, a 75-year-old woman from Britain with no serious health issues, decided to end her life at a Swiss euthanasia clinic on July 21 with her partner of 25 years by her side, sparking renewed debate over the right to die.

According to the Daily Mail, her partner John Southall said Pharaoh had been talking with family and friends about someday ending her life for more than 20 years. Her decision to die was based on a desire not to grow old and become a burden to her family.

Pharaoh, who worked as a nurse and had written two books on caring for elderly patients, wrote about her decision in a blog post entitled "My Last Word" on her website: [...]

Pharaoh said that she remained fit and active until she was 70, but a severe case of shingles changed that. She said she could no longer do the things she used to love such as gardening and cooking, and that her tinnitus was a "big distraction." She admitted that her irritations were "comparatively trivial" and insisted that she was not depressed. [...]

The public response to Pharaoh's decision to end her life has been emotional and decidedly mixed. Supporters say that the ability to decide when you want to die is the ultimate freedom, while critics worry that people might make such a decision for the wrong reasons and want there to be more safeguards.[..]

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, although the Swiss government has sought to cut down on "suicide tourism," which draws hundreds of foreigners to Switzerland each year to end their lives.

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