A socialite and pioneer for women's rights in the City has committed suicide at a controversial clinic in Switzerland which promotes voluntary euthanasia, after she discovered that she was terminally ill.
Elisabeth Rivers-Bulkeley, who campaigned for women to be admitted to the Stock Exchange and was a founder member of Annabel's nightclub, secretly flew to the Dignitas clinic in Zurich last December.
Shortly before leaving for Switzerland, she had put her husband, Robert, a former Lloyds underwriter who is understood to be seriously affected by dementia, in a residential home. The couple, who had retired to live on the grounds of Gosford House, a stately home in East Lothian near Edinburgh, have no children.
What did Lionel Shriver say ?
"Yes, there is something deeply wrong about this notion of living your life purely for its own sake. You could have one generation (without children) that has a wonderful time, going out to restaurants and holidays in France. Then the human race disappears."
She points out this is already happening in the West, which then has to import immigrant labour with all its social problems. "It is very tricky. I am well aware it is women like me who are ruining the pension system and the health service because we are not producing people who can pay into it. This is something whispered behind doors: all the wrong people are having children. Women who are well-educated, with money — you are not supposed to say this — are white and are not reproducing. They have a lot to pass on. I could have passed on a lot and now I won't."