“My condition is getting worse bit by bit, slowly week by week. On top of all this, my eyesight and hearing are no good, my pulse is occasionally irregular. So how long can it go on? Weeks? Months? As you all know, I am not afraid of dying but I am dead scared of incompetence.” In The Age, Julia Medew shares the story of a couple who made a suicide pact as part of “their determination to avoid hospitals, nursing homes, palliative care units – any institution that would threaten their independence in old age.” The Big Sleep.