Margaret Page, the Wellington woman whose refusal to eat food
sparked a vigorous ethical debate, died last night. She was
Mrs Page, who suffered a cerebral haemorrhage 20 years ago,
had refused to eat food for the past 16 days, taking only the
occasional sip of water. She told the Dominion Post newspaper
a week ago that she no longer wanted to live.
Her death, at 7.30pm, was confirmed by the St John of God
Haurora Trust, who owns the St John of God Wellington
residential care home in suburban Karori where she was
Trust chief executive Ralph La Salle said staff and residents
were deeply saddened by Mrs Page's death.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs Page and her family
and have been throughout the past weeks - a time which has
been exceptionally difficult and emotional for Mrs Page, her
family, other residents, staff and everyone who knew her," he
"We continued to provide a very high level of care for Mrs
Page until her death. We worked closely with her GP, who
visited daily, the Ministry of Health and staff from the Mary
Potter Hospice, who also provided care to Mrs Page."
Mrs Page suffered a cerebral haemorrhage 20 years ago and was
cared for by her husband Barry Page until 2006 when she went
to Residential Care at Maddison, as it was known before its
acquisition in February this year by the St John of God
Mr La Salle said that food and water had been offered to Mrs
Page by staff members whenever they went into her room and at
regular intervals. In addition, a staff member was dedicated
to Mrs Page's care during the last period of her life.
"Mrs Page maintained her resolve to refuse food until the
very end of her life," he said.
Mrs Page's refusal to eat sparked a vigorous debate between
pro-euthanasia and pro-life groups.