Elizabeth Sheldon’s mind was made up as soon she found out she had Huntingtons disease, she had seen patients in her care as district nurse suffer, her patients could not walk and had to be cared for twenty four hours a day seven days a week. In the case of Elizabeth Sheldon, her mother had it and she knew she could get it.. Unknown to Barrie her husband she contacted the euthanasia society, she wanted to die quickly and peacefully without the disease taking a serious impact.
At this time, detectives were investigating the society and her plans to be scuppered. But quickly she came up with a new plan and this time it had to work.
Whilst Mr Sheldon was away at the weekend he counted out the pills for his wife and left to do whatever she needed to do in the house in Rusilip, West London.
“When I returned, having had no sleep at all, she was writhing around, semi-conscious with cuts and bruises from where her limbs had caught the furniture”
“It was the worst weekend of my life but they would have put a murder charge on me if I had been with her”
Then he called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital, the pills hadn’t worked this time
Mr Sheldon waited at her bedside as he refused to allow her to be treated for 24 hours.
He had shown doctors the “living will” his wife had signed on 5 September 1979, stating that her wish not to receive treatment to prolong her life.
Four days later on the 31st March 1982, Mrs Sheldon was pronounced dead at aged 50.
A spokesman for campaign Dignity in Dying said: “We believe that the law should have offered Mrs Sheldon and should offer others like her, both choice and protection.
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