And So It Goes…#541

It is fashionable for people to be persuaded to undergo a slow and lingering exit from life afflicted by horrendously painful conditions of one kind or another without the slightest reasonable hope nor prospect of improvement or cure.It’s termed palliative care.There,there  just stick around for a few more years of whatever you’ve got and just ebb away whilst keeping someone else’s pristine conscience clear. Interesting moral dilemma for those who are really into medieval superstitious practices. This article in Monday 20 October’s Daily Super Consumerist Mail has surely upset a lot of people who’ve got mortgages to pay and Usurers to keep in business. Perhaps Reason gets to triumph after all ?

Grandmother aged 86 starved herself to death over five weeks in right-to-die battle

  • Jean Davies, right-to-die campaigner from Oxford, had chronic health issues
  • She ‘reached point where she didn’t want to go on’ at end of this summer
  • Ex-maths teacher began refusing food August 28 and water September 16
  • The former chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society died on October 1
  • Her daughter, Bronwen, 60, claims mother was ‘fiercely independent lady’ 

A nurse yesterday told how her elderly mother starved herself to death in what the pensioner considered her only legal way to exercise her right to die.

Bronwen Davies said she initially struggled to reconcile feelings of extreme anger with a desire to support Jean Davies’s right to die ‘on her own terms’.

Twice-widowed Mrs Davies, 86, a long-term right-to-die campaigner, had been battling an increasing number of chronic health conditions – but was not terminally ill – when she ‘reached a point where she didn’t want to go on’ at the end of this summer.

Jean Davies, 86, a life-long right to die campaigner, poses for a portrait with her daughter Bronwen at her home in Oxford September 2014

The former maths teacher began refusing food on August 28 – five weeks before she eventually died on October 1, just hours after being visited for the final time by a GP who had agreed to treat the symptoms of starvation and dehydration. She stopped drinking water on September 16.

Yesterday her daughter, who is married but has kept her maiden name, said: ‘I was very angry when my mother first told me of her decision.

‘However, I recognised that this wasn’t about me. All the family did. We are all respectful of the fact that it was her life and her choice.’

Miss Davies added: ‘My mother was a fiercely independent lady who had the capacity to make this decision.

‘She had been talking about doing this for the last two or three years, if her health deteriorated – although that’s not to say we ever thought it would actually happen. She was becoming increasingly restricted in what she could do.



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