Health

Nagui Morcos Ends his Life Because of Huntington's Disease

| by Michael Allen

Nagui Morcos, a university professor in Toronto, Canada, chose April 22, 2012, to be the day of his own death, instead of watching his body being ravaged with Huntington’s Disease, as his father's was.

In a farewell letter to his wife Jan, whom he was married to 23 years, and his family, the 54 year old wrote: "I loved my life. I wish I could go on but I can’t. I am truly sorry for any grief that this causes you."
 
When he and his wife were trying to have a baby, eighteen years ago, Morcos was tested and found out he had the gene for the disease.

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As a result, he decided not to have children, rather than possibly pass down the Huntington’s Disease to them

After eight years of symptoms of Huntington’s Disease - constant exhaustion, urinary problems, waking up six times in the night and bad circulation - he decided to end his life.

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His wife Jan Morcos told the Toronto Star: "I told him that I worried that he’d do something violent or brutal or something that might not work and he might survive in very bad shape and that I didn’t want him to have to think about that on his own or feel that he was alone."

Her husband contacted the organization Dying with Dignity which advised him on how to end his life.

The couple spent their last days together going to the opera and drinking champagne.

With cellist Yo Yo Ma playing on on a CD, he sat in a chair in the bedroom as his wife said goodbye.

Jan Morcos recalled: "He told me he wanted me to be happy and he was ready and he was sure. It was time. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done."

Jan Morco went into the next room, listened to music and wrote in her journal, while Meg Westley, president of Dying With Dignity, remained with Nagui Morcos until he died.

About an hour later, the police were called. After a four month investigation, the police have  said that nobody will be charged with a crime.

Jan Morcos and Meg Westley will not revealed exactly how Mr Morcos killed himself, though in an interview he admitted to buying a pill online and swallowing it.