I’ve been hesitant to write about this because it’s hard to know what to say, but on the other hand it’s an important story that should not go unmarked. Last November, in Allentown PA (near my own town of Bethlehem PA), Izak and Malka Waide, both 92 and married for 60 years, died. Izak had shot Malka and then turned the gun on himself. Izak died immediately but failed to kill Malka who lingered in a coma for a week before dying.
The reason for this terrible tragedy was that Malka had Alzheimer’s Disease. Gradually, she stopped accompanying her husband on his twice-daily walks, and soon he gave them up himself, afraid to leave her alone. He was also afraid to take her to the doctor because he worried that she would not be allowed to return home to him.
Is this a tragic example of the need for better social services? Or the need for assistance in dying? Both?