A Birmingham newspaper columnist today admitted killing her terminally-ill great aunt with an overdose of morphine in the late 1960s.
Maureen Messent said she had decided to reveal the circumstances surrounding the death of Eileen O'Sullivan because of potential changes in the laws on euthanasia.
Under the headline: 'Why I was right to kill my great aunt', the journalist described how she and her brothers watched their relative, who had lung cancer, become "unconscious, desiccated, her skin transparent, her limbs twig-like".
The columnist, who was educated at a convent school in Teignmouth, Devon, wrote: "Our doctor, a family friend, left us a bottle of morphine.
"That night, during the awful small hours when the world seems so far away, her rasping and obvious pain became worse and worse.
"I knew what had to be done. I said goodbye and gave her the whole bottle.
"She died an hour later and when he came the next morning, our doctor slipped the empty container into his pocket and said not a word."
The reporter, who was widowed five years ago, told BBC WM that she would go to her death knowing she had done the right thing.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said the force was aware of what the journalist had said about the incident.
The spokeswoman added: "We will bring the matter to the attention of our colleagues in Devon and Cornwall, where the alleged incident took place, and offer them our support should they decide to initiate an inquiry."
See tomorrow's Birmingham Post for more on this story