And while not trying to hijacking the subject, I couldn’t be helped but being moved by this news. Fair use excerpt:

LONDON — He spent his life conducting world-renowned orchestras, but was almost blind and growing deaf – the music he loved increasingly out of reach. His wife of 54 years had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. So Edward and Joan Downes decided to die together.

Downes – Sir Edward since he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 – and his wife ended their lives last week at a Zurich clinic run by the assisted suicide group Dignitas. They drank a small amount of clear liquid and died hand-in-hand, their two adult children by their side. He was 85 and she was 74.

It is a story with mixed sides. A love story, the horrific notion of body and mind fading; ones own or, or in this case, and of your beloved ones, government deciding what’s best for you (not). In my country, things are reasonably well arranged but under pressure of the Christian right. Actually, the father of one of my oldest friends passed away like this. I remember the friend telling me how weird it was to have a future entry in his calendar “Dad dies”.

Anyway, I feel sorry for people needing to go to Switzerland to die. I wouldn’t mind dying in that beautiful environment, but I would hate needing to do so because some idiots determined there was no other way.