A couple living in Norfolk were found by the Coroner this week to have made a suicide pact years ago, so that they would not have to live in a nursing home or become a burden to anybody.
Reg (72) and Sue (66) Williams were found dead at their home by police alerted by longstanding friends of the couple, who had received handwritten letters explaining what they had done. They had made careful arrangements, including leaving the door open, messages around the house, had paid all bills and had even left cash for the window cleaner.
The Norfolk Coroner recorded a verdict of suicide after postmortem examinations found that the couple had died in their beds from an overdose of prescription drugs.
Cases such as this will be of interest to Right to Die campaigners, looking at whether those close to dying from a terminal illness should be able to seek assistance from doctors to hasten their end. Neither Mr. nor Mrs Williams were close to death, but their growing infirmity clearly troubled them, as did the prospect of growing dependence on others.
Opponents of Assisted Dying have suggested that the feeling that they might be a burden on society might induce individuals to seek death when their lives might otherwise be made tolerable.
See The Express