Couple in joint suicide pact to avoid going into care

The Daily Telegraph reports the case of a Devon couple in their ’80s who successfully carried out a joint suicide. From the article it appears that this was a rational, well thought out, end of life choice. However, it is unfortunate that this couple needed to end their lives in this way. Perhaps, with more compassionate and flexible legislation they might have been able to have a better death. In particular:

  • Saying goodbye to their relatives and friends.
  • Avoiding the secrecy and risk of failure of their plans.
  • Delaying their death in the knowledge that there would be medical help to assist in safely and painlessly ending their lives when they felt their quality of life was permanently below the level they wished to accept.
  • Avoiding the shock and distress they undoubtedly caused to their cleaner who discovered their dead bodies, and their family who were unprepared for their action.