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Retired professor who faced Alzheimer’s took his own life
11:00am Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
A RETIRED professor who had been told he was facing Alzheimer’s Disease took his own life at the age of 88, an inquest was told.
John Hodges was lonely after the death of his wife four years ago, Gloucestershire Assistant Deputy Coroner Katy Skerrett heard. Professor Hughes of High Street, Broadway, took an overdose of sleeping tablets.
His daughter Ros Thompson said that despite the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, he had not been depressed and had never mentioned suicide.
“We went to see him, and then left to go into the town.
“When we got back he was still in the chair and appeared to be asleep, but we saw a bottle containing tablets in his lap and found he could have taken as many as 42.
“He was taken to hospital in Gloucester and I was with him when he died on February 10.”
Acute care consultant Dr Kay Chidley said he had taken an unknown quantity of barbiturates – sleeping tablets prescribed for his dead wife.
Mrs Skerrett said: “It is quite clear that as a professor of pharmacology, Mr Hodges knew about drugs and their effects.
“He was an intelligent man and that intelligence was important to him. He would have been concerned about the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and he was also lonely after the death of his wife. From these facts, I believe his intention was clear.”