Woman kills self to avoid `decline’ due to old age

April 3rd, 2011 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, April 3 (IANS) A British woman took her life at a Swiss clinic to avoid “long period of decline” people experience before they die, it was reported here.

Nan Maitland was 84 and suffered from arthritis. But she was active and not terminally ill.

In a note before her death, she said she wished to escape the “long period of decline, sometimes called ‘prolonged dwindling’, that so many people unfortunately experience before they die”, The Australian reported.

Maitland’s message said: “I have had a wonderful life and the good fortune to die at a time of my choosing.”

The elderly lady was composed as she prepared for her death. Barely 15 minutes before ingesting a lethal solution, she asked to have her nails filed due to a rough edge.

The night before the suicide she had a three-hour meal with friends at a five-star Swiss hotel, and on her last morning she travelled in a chauffeur-driven limousine.

Her final farewells were calm and unemotional.

Maitland was a founder of an organisation that campaigns to allow elderly people who are not terminally ill to commit suicide with medical aid.

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