Couple Assisted To Commit Suicide In Switzerland….

Posted on July 14, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

couple in switzer

A British couple have died together at an assisted suicide clinic after travelling to Switzerland to end their lives. Sir Edward and Lady Joan Downes died together Pic: Ingpen and Williams Conductor Sir Edward Downes, 85, was almost blind and had hearing difficulties while his 74-year-old wife Lady Downes was believed to be suffering from cancer. The pair went to the Dignitas clinic in Zurich and died together on July 10 rather than struggling on with health problems, their family said. Sir Edward, who was born in Birmingham, had a long career in music, working with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Opera House. A statement from their son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca, said: “After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems. “They died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing, with the help of the Swiss organisation Dignitas, in Zurich. Sir Edward Downes Pic: Bill Cooper “Our father, who was 85 years old, almost blind and increasingly deaf, had a long, vigorous and distinguished career as a conductor. “Our mother, who was 74, started her career as a ballet dancer and subsequently worked as a choreographer and TV producer, before dedicating the last years of her life to working as our father’s personal assistant. “They both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally.” Sir Edward was with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for 40 years and in 1952 joined the Royal Opera House, where he remained a company member for 17 years. He became the music director of the Australian Opera in 1970 and conducted the first performance in the Sydney Opera House. Sir Edward received a CBE in 1986 and was knighted in 1991.

 

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