A retired teacher who was not terminally ill has committed suicide in Switzerland because she felt she could not adapt to modern life.
The woman, known only as Anne, took a lethal dose of drugs at a Dignitas suicide centre last month.
She told a newspaper before her death that she found herself “swimming against the current”, adding: “If you can’t join them, get off.”
Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned that if assisted suicide was legalised in the UK the vulnerable would suffer.
He said: “This case clearly shows that any law allowing assisted suicide for a restricted class of people, such as mentally competent terminally ill adults, will be subject to incremental extension.
“Desperate people will push the boundaries, and as a result legal protection for vulnerable people will be weakened.”
Anne, who lived in Sussex, went to Dignitas with her niece, who says she wants the law in the UK to change.
Previously Anne had been an art teacher as well as working as an electrician for the Royal Navy.
Before she committed suicide, she questioned 21st century life in comments to The Sunday Times.
“People are becoming more and more remote”, she commented, adding: “We are becoming robots”.
She said: “I find myself swimming against the current, and you can’t do that. If you can’t join them, get off.”
“They say adapt or die”, Anne explained. “At my age, I feel that I can’t adapt, because the new age is not an age that I grew up to understand.”
At present Lord Falconer is pushing for a law to introduce assisted suicide in England and Wales.
Under his proposals doctors could prescribe lethal drugs to patients with less than six months to live.
However, an end-of-life think tank has warned the proposals are “wholly inadequate” and “not fit for purpose”.