Woman Ends Life, Leaves Parting Words on Right to Die

Gillian Bennett was suffering from dementia

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2014 12:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – An elderly woman, knowing she was suffering from dementia, chose to leave the world on her own terms this week—and she left behind a website calling for the right to physician-assisted suicide. Gillian Bennett, of British Columbia, wrote on the site that she didn't want to end up a "carcass" living with "no one inside," the Vancouver Sun reports. In dying, she said, "all I lose is an indefinite number of years of being a vegetable in a hospital setting, eating up the country's money but not having the faintest idea of who I am." So she took a combination of whiskey and sleeping pills Monday.

Bennett, who was in her 80s, called for a legally-required living will for everyone age 50 and over, saying she hoped that views toward assisted suicide would change, CTV News reports. She and her husband were aware that legally, no one else could contribute to her dying process, the Sun notes. "Gillian and I both disliked and disapproved of the laws making it impossible to help a loved one with something as important as death," he says. Bennett died on a mattress in a favorite outdoor spot as her husband sat beside her. As they sat together, "she was absolutely not frightened … She was as calm and peaceful as you could imagine," her husband says.

A dementia patient left behind a call for changing views on assisted suicide.
A dementia patient left behind a call for changing views on assisted suicide.   (Shutterstock)
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