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Logans Run ?

(26 Posts)
LurkingHusband Tue 04-Aug-15 13:06:18

A retired nurse from London who travelled to Switzerland to end her life disliked the "indignity" of ageing, her partner has said.
Gill Pharoah, 75, was apparently healthy when she made the decision to go to the Lifecircle clinic in Basel.
Campaigners against assisted dying have described the case as "chilling".
But her partner John Southall told the BBC: "Choosing the time you die is a human right."
Ms Pharoah wrote in a blog published by the Sunday Times: "I feel my life is complete and I am ready to die."
She said while she was largely healthy, an attack of shingles five years ago and tinnitus had made it difficult to take part in the activities she had once enjoyed.
John Southall, partner of Gill Pharoah: "She had a very busy life... it went rapidly downhill"
She wrote: "I am not just whinging. Neither am I depressed. Day by day I am enjoying my life.
"I simply do not want to follow this natural deterioration through to the last stage when I may be requiring a lot of help."
Care Not Killing, a group which campaigns against assisted dying, condemned Ms Pharaoh's case as "deeply troubling".
A spokesman said: "It sends out a chilling message about how society values and looks after elderly people in the UK.
"It seeks the introduction of death on demand for those who fear becoming a burden, even if they are otherwise fit and healthy."
Her partner, John Southall, told BBC London he had put a lot of questions to her over the years about her intention to get help to take her own life, but said he saw it as "her decision".
He added: "It was not for me to feel confident [in her decision], but I did agree with the rationale and the logic".
He explained that in her career as a palliative care nurse she had seen "a lot of people in pretty miserable circumstances - it gave her a dislike of the indignity of that".
He added: "Choosing the time you die is a human right, who should deny us that?"
A 2014 study by Zurich University suggested an average of around one person a fortnight travels from the UK to Switzerland to receive help to take their own life.

LeChien Tue 04-Aug-15 13:20:30

"He explained that in her career as a palliative care nurse she had seen "a lot of people in pretty miserable circumstances - it gave her a dislike of the indignity of that"."

I can understand this. For many growing old isn't dignified and serene.

I can see why she made the choice for herself, but I don't think I could do the same myself.

DonkeyOaty Tue 04-Aug-15 13:25:24

Not the same as Logan's run at all.

And what LeChien said.

AugustHasToBeBetter Tue 04-Aug-15 13:29:41

I object to Care not Killing's comments: I don't think this woman's personal choice sends a chilling message.

Nor was she "fit and healthy" as her partner says her previously busy life had gone "rapidly downhill".

Personally I find it comforting that I may be able to make such a choice one day.

Preciousbane Tue 04-Aug-15 13:35:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklingbrook Tue 04-Aug-15 13:39:34

Not Logan's Run at all.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Aug-15 14:04:22

OK, fair enough - the Logans Run comparison was inapt.

On a wider note, what - if anything - should the state do to address this situation ? Starting with the fact that suicide is considered contrary to the public good (hence laws punishing people who assist).

AugustHasToBeBetter Tue 04-Aug-15 14:06:22

Off the top of my head : Adopt the Swiss guidelines so UK nationals don't have to go abroad.

pinktrufflechoc Tue 04-Aug-15 14:08:12

I imagine assisted suicide will come over here within the next thirty years or so.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Aug-15 14:31:40

How would this sea change happen then ? How will suicide be revised to be in the public good ?

pinktrufflechoc Tue 04-Aug-15 14:36:09

Because more people are getting older and incapable essentially.

No one wants to end up in hospital for months or years, or in a care home, or sitting in an incontinence pad for hours at a time alone at home. No one wants to lose their memories and sense of self. Perhaps more pertinently people don't want to see this happen to loved ones. There's a financial consideration as well as a moral/ethical one - the strain on the NHS is huge and it isn't really possible it can continue for any length of time.

Methe Tue 04-Aug-15 14:36:22

I haven't seen/read/ heard of Logan's Run so I am unable to comment on any similaritys but I would imaging a palliative care nurse has far more insight in to the realities of getting old or unwell than most of us.

Having worked in a similar environment myself I would made the same decision if I knew I was facing a life like that. There really is a fate worse than death.

LurkingHusband Tue 04-Aug-15 15:44:25

I haven't seen/read/ heard of Logan's Run

It was a not-as-naff-as-you'd-think sci-fi film from the 70s (starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter). The basic premise was that to ensure society remained stable, the population was controlled, and people were (unwittingly) euthanased at the age of 30.

PandaMummyofOne Tue 04-Aug-15 16:09:59

I applaud her right to choose. We cannot judge someone's quality of life and day to day care hurt because the phrase 'fit and healthy' has been used. Maybe she was putting on a brave face? Maybe she just i hate this but can't think of a better phrase coped better than some other people.

It was her choice and surely he has the right, and freedoms, to do so.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Tue 04-Aug-15 16:43:42

I think when you've seen the true indignities of ageing up close and personal then you realise what awaits you and it's not always a pretty picture.

I don't know her circumstances, but I saw a family member slowly succumb to Parkinson's disease - they died 10 years after we'd lost them and it was a miserable time for them and everyone who loved them. If I am diagnosed with it in the future I will be booking a one way ticket to Switzerland - I don't give a stuff what Care Not Killing say, allowing someone to suffer to the point where they are suffocated by their own lungs, drowning in their own saliva and unable to remember their own name is not caring, it's torture.

AugustHasToBeBetter Tue 04-Aug-15 16:46:58

Agreed, OneFlew.

I already loathe the sanctimonious group and this is all I've heard of them.

hiddenhome Tue 04-Aug-15 16:52:41

I'm going at around the same age. I've started saving up already as it costs several thousand pounds.

I'm a care of the elderly nurse and the reality of growing old and frail is a nightmare for me. I have little family and don't want my kids to look after me as they have their own lives. I'm checking out long before the old bod fails.

Baddz Tue 04-Aug-15 16:54:30

I've looked after elderly people.
I'm going to start saving too.

Baddz Tue 04-Aug-15 16:57:14

The govt will never bring in the assisted dying bill.
Too much money made in nursing homes/care.

hiddenhome Tue 04-Aug-15 17:05:24

There would be too many strings attached. They wouldn't want to help people who aren't terminally ill.

I already witness countless people who are forced to remain alive by well meaning relatives. People who are suffering terribly and basically only hanging on due to repeat courses of antibiotics and dietician prescribed supplement drinks.

People need to be more open and realistic about the subject of disease and suffering in old age. Too much squeamishness these days.

SleepyForest Tue 04-Aug-15 17:07:01

Suicide can be a dreadful mistake brought on by mental illness or it can be a rational choice and a good thing.

pinktrufflechoc Tue 04-Aug-15 17:08:25

Not really baddz - as the population continue to age it's becoming problematic and there's just not enough room for everybody.

cdtaylornats Wed 05-Aug-15 12:08:00

I don't mind Logan's Run its Solyent Green that worries me.

hiddenhome Wed 05-Aug-15 13:50:24

I'm too gnarled and chewy to be made into a viable foodstuff grin

travellinglighter Wed 05-Aug-15 18:49:48

Given that in Logan’s Run death at 30 was compulsory then making a decision at an advanced age to commit suicide is hardly similar.

Her decision, hope I’m brave enough to make a similar decision when I’m her age.


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