In Switzerland, 75-year-old Gill Pharaoh took her own life at one of the country’s assisted suicide clinics. Pharaoh was a retired nurse who specialized in care for the elderly. She was also completely healthy.
In an interview before her death, she said, “I do not think old age is fun. I have gone just over the hill now. It is not going to start getting better. I have looked after people who are old, on and off, all my life. I have always said, ‘I am not getting old. I do not think old age is fun.’ I know that I have just gone over the hill now. It is not going to start to get better.”
It sounds like Pharaoh was depressed and killed herself because she was afraid of the future. This is not at all uncommon. In fact, this has happened with people here in the United States. For example, under Oregon’s assisted suicide provision, the most recent official state report shows in the footnotes that a diabetic, persons with respiratory diseases, a person with viral hepatitis, and persons with HIV all obtained lethal prescriptions. These people are a far cry from those we envision as “terminally ill.”
Since 2003, 250 Britons have traveled to Switzerland to kill themselves under the country’s suicide law. The Daily Mail reports that Pharaoh’s children and partner were not at peace with her decision to die. However, she didn’t believe it was their decision to make. She said of her partner, John Southall, “It is not his choice at all and my kids are backing me, although it is not their choice.”
Prior to her death, Pharaoh wrote two books on managing family illness. She also had an online blog where she wrote that old people are a burden to society. She said, “I watched my own mother become demented. Had there been a pill available at the time, I would gladly have put her out of her misery. I do not intend to follow that path myself.”
Additionally, she revealed more about why she wanted to take her own life. She said, “I can no longer walk the distances I used to enjoy so the happy hours spent exploring the streets of London are just a memory now. I cannot do the garden with the enthusiasm I once had and I find fifteen minutes is more than enough time spent weeding or digging. Even that short time can result in a day on the sofa or a visit to the osteopath.”
Then she said her tinnitus had been acting up and she wasn’t enjoying normal activities. She said, “My tinnitus is a big distraction. My hearing loss is helped by using hearing aids, but the tinnitus seems to enjoy competition, and seems to increase in volume, to meet the increased external noise, so I find it impossible to talk in a group of more than four people, and often have to activate the subtitles on the TV.”
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Dr. Michael Irwin, also known as Dr. Death, was the physician who helped Pharaoh kill herself. In 2005, he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council and was struck off the medical register after admitting to supplying sleeping pills to help a friend kill himself.
As LifeNews previously reported, another woman recently killed herself due to tinnitus. In the Netherlands, 47-year-old Gaby Olthuis said she suffered from a “24-hour noise” in her head, “like a train screeching or someone scratching their nails on a chalk board.” Before she died, she said, “I look healthy from the outside, but inside I am being tortured.”
To end her suffering, she was given a lethal potion to drink by one of the clinic’s doctors at her home. Shockingly, she left behind two teenagers, a boy of 13 and girl of 15. Her mother Joan explained, “Gaby told the children that she was planning to die, she was in pain and there was no cure for her.”