Death of healthy ex-nurse at Swiss suicide clinic ‘deeply troubling’

BT.com 3 August 2015
The death of a healthy and active retired nurse who ended her life at a Swiss suicide clinic to avoid deteriorating in old age is a “deeply troubling” case that sends a “chilling message” about society’s views of elderly people, a campaign group said.

Gill Pharaoh, 75, travelled to Switzerland last month to die as she feared growing old and being unable to kill herself.

The former palliative care nurse from Pinner, west London, was not seriously ill or suffering from a terminal disease but felt the quality of her life was declining.

In the weeks before her death last month she wrote on her blog that she was neither “whinging” about life nor “depressed”, but was tired of the restrictions advancing age had placed on her, that her life was “complete” and that she was “ready to die”.

Ms Pharaoh spoke of the frustrations of having tinnitus and losing her hearing, the physical inhibitions brought on by a bout of shingles five years ago that stopped her enjoying gardening and walking, and the “hundred and one other minor irritations” she felt left her with a poor quality of life.
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