One Woman's Decision To Starve Herself Might Change Suicide Laws In The U.K.

An elderly woman who "chose" to die in the U.K. has raised some interesting questions in regards to euthanasia laws.

As you grow older, there’s a higher probability that your quality of life will deteriorate. You may not enjoy life as much, regardless of whether you're ill. While there’s been a gradual opening of conversations around assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, discourse on choosing to die irrespective of the reason has only just begun to spark debates.

Jean Davies, 86, starved herself to death to avoid U.K.’s ironclad grip on suicide-related laws. Formerly a teacher, she was also a right-to-die campaigner who chose to die because she felt her quality of life would not be up to par.

So she decided to take matters into her own hands and stopped eating and drinking. This eventually led to her passing away in her own bed, with her daughter and grandson at her side.

Earlier this month, Exit International opened its doors to the U.K.’s population. The clinic, which has been criticized as a "suicide club," has lead to further concern as its services target a vulnerable population. But people who want to end their lives are already using whatever means at their disposal, including roughly one person following through on assisted suicide in Switzerland every two weeks. 

In the U.K., however, Jean Davies timely choice of death has come about right before the House of Lords will debate an assisted dying bill on Nov. 7.

Britain is notorious for being a bit slow in decriminalizing suicide laws, where attempting to kill oneself was punishable until 1961. So it’s no surprise that such changes in regards to doctor assisted suicide would come about slowly – if indeed it does at all. But perhaps U.K. policy makers will pay attention to its aging public’s subtle, albeit a bit morbid, desires.

Also Read: Humane Or Insane? Belgium On Verge Of Legalizing Euthanasia For Minors