Practicalities and suicide pacts

Charles Cowling

Here’s a highly recommended post over at the Exit blog: Heartache of a death not shared — a helium suicide fails.

It discusses this story as reported by the Times:

Early one morning in September, William Stanton heard footsteps coming up the stairs of his cottage in Somerset. He knew who it was and panicked. “I shouted out: ‘Go away, Nigel, leave me to it, leave me to it!’”

Nigel, a neighbour and family friend, did not go away. He came into the bedroom and found Stanton in distress and his wife Angela lying dead with a plastic bag over her head.

The Stantons had made a pact to end their lives together and put it into effect just days after the director of public prosecutions revealed how he would apply the law prohibiting assisted suicide. It did not work out as they planned and stands as a terrible cautionary example for anybody thinking that self-inflicted death is easily arranged…

4 thoughts on “Practicalities and suicide pacts

  1. Charles Cowling
    Kathryn Edwards

    Charles: it’s really good to keep this wholesome organisation in people’s minds. Excellent, helpful reminder.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    Hi Charles / Chris

    This is the 3rd time suicide has been raised today and I’m so glad that at the end of the day I have been lead to the exit blog…

    I was drinking coffee in the garden with a chap today, we were talking about what he’d like to happen when in a pained state of no return… I’m not sure what the options are and I have to admit I have a fear that if i was to commit suicide my soul will disappear into no mans land and I’ll never find my husband / my soul mate again(I’m sure this is influenced by some film i watched when i was a kid!)

    when i got home this evening my husband showed me a link to a really cool band and told me the lead singer had committed suicided after a gig at a festival on Friday – it actually made me feel sick and sad, so so sad

    so thanks for sharing the exit blog, i will be sure to have a good read x

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling

    I hope that any readers who are not familiar with the Exit blog will spend some time considering previous posts. If the link above does not work for you (it may be a WordPress glitch, who knows?), paste this into your browser:

    Very good to hear from you, Chris.

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    Chris Docker

    Thanks for mentioning the story. I felt very moved while writing it. There are very few failed suicide attempts of this kind that we know of. But it does add to our understanding of how important it is to cover the details. I’ll probably mention Mr Stanton’s traumatic time at our workshops later this year.

    Charles Cowling

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