January 31, 2007, The Age


Pat and Peter Shaw

"A Reasoned Choice"

"We were sitting outside in the the sun, and they're looking up smiling, just relaxed and ready to go....it wasn't real, just thought we were going down to the beach for a walk...it was all a little bit strange."   Anny, Daughter

Pat and Peter Shaw ended their lives together on October 27, 2015 by taking a lethal drug. Scientists and adventurers, they'd lived long, productive and happy lives, filled with family, friends, classical music, opera and literature -- but, towards the end, they saw their independence and health slipping away. 

They didn't want to end their lives in-firmed, or worse, incapacitated. The Australian couple had discussed their deaths with their three daughters for years, and their daughters understood their parents' wishes. 

Pat didn't want to die alone, so she went first. Peter, shortly after.

                                     Pat Shaw's Goodbye Letter

"Patricia was the “it girl” in their mountaineering club. Dazzling blue eyes and blonde hair. But Pat - or Patsy as she was sometimes called - was more comfortable in shorts and hiking boots than dresses and baby-doll heels. She was whip smart, too. Had plenty to say and knew what she was talking about." (http://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2016/the-big-sleep/)

                                  Peter Shaw's Goodbye Letter

Peter Shaw (left) in Antarctica in 1953.http://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2016/the-big-sleep/

"Somewhere in Antarctica, there is a mountain named after Peter Shaw. He conquered it in 1955 on a pioneering mission with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions. The following year, he was awarded a Polar Medal for the mission and he was immortalised on a postage stamp. The trip had been tough. He and his companions had endured at least one terrifying storm that was so traumatic no one ever spoke about it again."(http://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2016/the-big-sleep/)

Peter Shaw, Left

Pat and Peter Shaw
Pat and Peter Shaw