Coroner's euthanasia verdict sets landmark

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The Independent Online
A CORONER has made history by recording a verdict of 'euthanasia' on a grandmother who killed herself.

Lucy Vines, 87, left a note asking for her death not to be treated as suicide but as 'death by euthanasia'. The Avon coroner Paul Forrest granted her wish when he recorded the milestone verdict.

Mrs Vines suffocated herself last month by slipping a plastic bag over her head and fixing it in place with an elastic band. Her son Anthony, 60, found her body when he went to visit her at a residential home in Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol.

In a statement read to Bristol coroner's court, he said: 'Mum and I had several in- depth conversations about euthanasia over the last four or five years.

'She was worried about Alzheimer's disease and had developed a couple of symptoms. She left my wife and I a five-page note.'

The coroner said: 'I am conscious of her wish to have her death not recorded as suicide. As a result I am recording a verdict of her taking her own life as a believer in euthanasia.'

A spokesman for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society said: 'We have never heard of a verdict like this before. The coroner has acted responsibly in respecting this lady's right to take her own life.'