"Alan Purdy, 88, sat by while his beloved Margaret, 84 and in unrelieved pain, killed herself. San Diego County authorities arrested him, but the issue is tough for everyone involved."
"Alan Purdy, 88, shown with a painting of his late wife, Margaret, at their San Marcos, Calif., home, told authorities that he did nothing to stop her as she committed suicide."
SAN MARCOS, Calif. —When paramedics arrived at the Purdy home March 20, Margaret was seated in her favorite chair in the living room. The morning sunshine streamed in through a picture window that overlooked a valley. A plastic bag was over her head, tied securely at the neck. A suicide note in her handwriting was in a folder on her desk, beneath a shelf with books about death and dying. She had written that the pain from her various medical conditions had become unbearable. Alan Purdy met the paramedics at the door. He said that his 84-year-old wife had taken 30 sleeping pills mixed with applesauce and then suffocated herself. Please hurry, he recalled telling them. She had donated her body to UC San Diego Medical Center, he said, and they need to harvest her organs for transplant as soon as possible. Sheriff's deputies showed up and took him to the backyard patio, away from his wife's body. Purdy, 88, shivered in the cold, still urging them to hurry. The deputies started questioning Purdy. He repeated what he had told the medics: He was present as his wife committed suicide. He insisted he did not help her but admitted he did not try to stop her. Homicide detectives then led him in handcuffs to the patrol car and drove him to the nearby sheriff's station. His shoes were taken away. He accepted a blanket and threw it over his shoulders. He said he could not stop shaking and grew increasingly upset. After several hours, he was taken to the San Diego County jail in Vista and booked on suspicion of in a suicide.
Read the whole article before commenting please. Apparently Mr. Purdy's wife had attempted suicide before. This is a really sad story, but asks highlights some important questions. Is suicide always wrong? Should Mr. Purdy be imprisioned? What would you do in his shoes? Is it time to legalize euthanasia? If so, what criteria (if any) should be adopted to allow it to go forward? Is this just wrong? How do you feel about this?