Nan Maitland, ending her life with courage and dignity

Woman Commits Suicide to Avoid Old Age, was a front page Sunday Times headline.  Immediately I imagined some poor, pathetic, lonely old soul, without friends or family, reaching the end of her tether, and killing herself in a horrible, grisly way.

Reading the story I realised how sensationalist and misleading this headline was.

Eighty-four year old Nan Maitland, who suffered from arthritis, planned her death, to my mind, purposefully, courageously and without drama.  In the note that she left behind, she made it clear that she had no wish to enter a prolonged period of painful decline that many elderly experience these days before they die.

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