Practicalities and suicide pacts

Charles 4 Comments

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…

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Chris Docker
11 years ago

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
11 years ago

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.

11 years ago

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… Read more »

Kathryn Edwards
Kathryn Edwards
11 years ago

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