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Unformatted text preview: Conductor Edward Downes And Wife Joan Die In Swiss Suicide Clinic JILL LAWLESS | July 14, 2009 10:34 PM EST | http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/14/conductor-edward-downes-a_n_231204.html This undated handout photo made available Tuesday July 14, 2009 shows renowned British conductor Edward Downes. British conductor Edward Downes and his wife have died at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, their family said Tuesday July 14, 2009. The family said Downes, 85, and his 74-year-old wife Joan died Friday "peacefully and under circumstances of their own choosing" at a Zurich clinic run by the group Dignitas. "After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems," the statement said. (AP Photo/Bill Cooper/PA Wire) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE LONDON He spent his life conducting world-renowned orchestras, but was almost blind and growing deaf the music he loved increasingly out of reach. His wife of 54 years had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. So Edward and Joan Downes decided to die together. Downes Sir Edward since he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 and his wife ended their lives last week at a Zurich clinic run by the assisted suicide group Dignitas. They drank a small amount of clear liquid and died hand-in-hand, their two adult children by their side. He was 85 and she was 74. The deaths were a poignant coda to Edward Downes' illustrious musical career, and have reignited a debate in Britain about whether people should be able to help ailing loved ones end their lives....
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