A 77-year-old Italian man has been arrested after shooting dead his wife as she lay in hospital.
Police in the Tuscan city of Prato said the man shot his 82-year-old wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, three times in full view of medical staff.
The man told police he did it because he could not stand to see her suffer.
His wife had been diagnosed eight years ago with the degenerative and irreversible brain disorder, which causes dementia and eventually death.
It is estimated that 2-5% of people over 65 years of age and up to 20% of those over 85 suffer from the disease.
The man, whose name has not been released by the police, entered the hospital ward where his wife was being treated at around 1730 on Saturday, according to the Italian newspaper, La Stampa.
He then took out a pistol and shot her twice in the head and once in the chest.
Afterwards, he placed the weapon in the corner of the room and awaited the police, La Stampa reported.
This is one of the saddest news stories I’ve ever read.
Love drives us to do the most irrational things, but in the story above, shooting his wife was probably the most rationale thing the man thought he could do for their relationship.
Murder is wrong, but there should always be options to end needless suffering. God knows as I sat next to my mum in the hospital during her last weeks in 2001, I kept asking Him why did He let this happen to her. But there was nothing to do but wait.
In this case, I wonder if the old man exhausted all options before taking this tragic decision.