Healthy Retired Nurse Ends Her Life Because Old Age ‘Is Awful’

A leading palliative care nurse with no serious health
problems has ended her life at a Swiss suicide clinic because she did not want
to end up as a “hobbling old lady”. Gill Paraoh, 75, who wrote two books giving
advice on how to care for the elderly, was not suffering from a terminal
She said she had seen enough of old age to know that she was
“going over the hill” and wanted to take action to end her life while she was
able to do so.
Speaking before her death in Basel, the mother of two said
her experience as a nurse, including working in nursing homes, had shown her
that the reality of old age was “awful”.

She told The Sunday Times: “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 gone just over the hill now.
It is not going to start getting better. I do not want people to remember me as
a sort of old lady hobbling up the road with a trolley.
“I have got so many friends with partners who, plainly, are
a liability. I know you shouldn’t say that but I have this mental picture in my
head of all you need to do, at my age, is break a hip and you are likely to go
very much downhill from that.”

She said her partner and children had supported her wishes,
though it would not have been their choice.

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