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There were 69 comments about the article in Friday’s London Daily Mail (01/25/08) reporting on an elderly, sick couple in York who took their lives together.  At the inquest, the coroner blamed the book ‘Final Exit’ and said it was ‘shameless.’  All but 2-3 comments of the 69 people who responded to the Mail’s story were sympathetic to the couple who chose to die.   Here is a selection of the comments:

I think the Judge was too strong in his condemnation of the book. This is clearly something that was well thought out in advance of the act. I don’t blame them for deciding when their time was rather than throwing themselves to the undignified ravages of a long drawn out death. I’m sad for the family but I think deep down they understand the motivation.

Why the outrage? They chose to end their lives, in the manner they wished. It is their life to do with as they wish. They clearly cared deeply for their family and the effect it would have. I see no problem with a manual that guides people on ending their life.

I admire their strength and courage to do this. What a show of total love and devotion. I hope I can do the same when the time comes, I certainly don’t want to end up in some nursing home, shoved up a corner and forgot about or be unable to care for myself having to rely on others, the thought of that is far more horrifying to me

They died with dignity and didn’t have to suffer the fate of so many elderly, abandoned by family, ill, mentally incapacitated and in often dodgy care homes. I would have done the same.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like without my husband. I do not want to end up in a care home. I do not want to end up being a burden on my son or my daughter. There is no dignity in incontinence or dementia.

This is tragic, but it is not the book which is shameful, but rather modern western society which does not respect nor love the aged.

Given the appalling state of care for the elderly in this country, taking one’s own life at a time of one’s own choosing seems the perfect, dignified, loving exit.

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