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Elderly couple who went to Switzerland to die together... Terry Pratchett is *so* wise.

(8 Posts)
edam Thu 16-Jul-09 17:47:52

Letter in The Times today about the double suicide of conductor Sir Edward and Lady Downes.

'Sir

'The decision of an 85-year-old man to die alongside his stricken wife would seem to the more generous of us to indicate surpassing love, possibly informed a little by his own apprehension of his future (? ?Together forever? couple raise new suicide fears?, report, leading article and obituary, July 15).

'It seems to me that far from being insane, as the witchfinding psychiatrists suggest, he was sadly but truly rational. If God does not understand that, he is not God, but nothing more than a convenient cover for those who wish to impose their own views on others. We are not a theocracy, and we are not slaves.'

Sir Terence Pratchett
Salisbury, Wilts

(For anyone who hasn't come across him, he's a brilliant and incredibly witty author sadly suffering from atypical Alzheimers'.)

2shoes Thu 16-Jul-09 17:49:49

he is an amazing insightful man.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Jul-09 17:55:54

I'm going to blub like hell when Terry Partchett dies.

edam Thu 16-Jul-09 18:03:17

me too. Can't help wondering whether he's joined Dignitas, given the Alzheimers. Which I know is none of my business and a bit morbid but mainly I am SO fond of him and his affectionate but unsparing take on humanity that I really don't want him to die or be ill ever.

Deemented Thu 16-Jul-09 18:03:56

Wow. What an insightful man.

funtimewincies Thu 16-Jul-09 19:34:46

Dh and I were talking about this and agree that, should we be lucky enough to reach this age together and under similar circumstances, we would probably do the same thing. I see no problem with making an informed choice about your own life, in consultation with your family.

If you believe that the end of life and it's pain and suffering is essential for your passage to an afterlife then that is your choice and I fully support your right to access good quality paliative care. If you don't then the choice to end life in a way such as this couple did is your equal right.

<sorry, been thinking about this a lot recently>

edam Thu 16-Jul-09 19:40:04

funtime, I'm almost jealous of you in a way for having such a close relationship. smile

If dh was going to pop his clogs, I'd be too busy checking the life insurance! grin (Actually have just taken out life insurance for myself, all the news re. swine flu reminded me I don't have it any more but want to make sure ds and dh are OK should anything happen to me.)

funtimewincies Thu 16-Jul-09 19:52:09

grin Edam.

Yes we are very lucky, we just 'work' better as a couple than as 2 seperate individuals. We know, however, that the chances of us making it to the end together are slim so neither of us pretends that tough choices along the way won't have to be made.

But if we don't contemplate our existence, how can we truly exist? Terry Pratchett has always written in a way which shows us the uncomfortable truths of human nature, I'm pleased to see that he'll keep doing it to the end!

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