Patricia Whitney-Jones and Brian Jones murder suicide: A Whatcom, Washington State man kills his wife and then himself cause they couldn’t afford healthcare.
A Washington state man is alleged to have killed himself after killing his wife, and leaving behind a note saying that he did so because the couple couldn’t afford to pay for medical care for her serious health conditions.
The husband was identified as Brian S. Jones, 77, of Ferndale and his wife, Patricia Whitney-Jones, 76, according to the Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel.
The murder suicide follows Brian Jones calling police Wednesday morning saying he was going to kill himself, telling the dispatcher that authorities would find a note in his home with an explanation along with instructions. The dispatcher unsuccessfully tried to keep him on the telephone, according to the Bellingham Herald.
‘It’s very tragic that one of our senior citizens would find himself in such desperate circumstances where he felt murder and suicide were the only option,’ Sheriff Bill Elfo said in a statement.
At what cost affordable health care?
Responding police found the couple lying side by side. Jones allegedly shot his wife once, and himself three times — including once in the head — with a semi-automatic handgun, according to the medical examiner statement released to Fox News. The statement noted both having ‘significant natural health disease conditions.’
A neighbor, Sherrie Schulteis, told the Lynden Tribune said she was surprised to learn of the ‘likable’ couple’s struggles. She said their deaths had shocked the neighborhood.
‘[Brian and I] were always waving and talking about our yards or our flowers,’ Schulteis said. ‘It’s a little tiny community where we all know each other, but we don’t really know each other.’
Responding to the couple’s murder suicide, Sheriff Elfo said help in desperate times is always just a 911 call away.
‘It is very tragic that one of our senior citizens would find himself in such desperate circumstances where he felt murder and suicide were the only option,’ the authority figure reiterated.
Not immediately clear is what efforts the couple had made in negotiating their healthcare costs and what amenities were made available to them at the State level- if any?
The couple’s deaths underscore the unrelenting tension of US households to afford increasing healthcare costs and a business model that seemingly puts the power of negotiation in private industry, including healthcare providers, insurers, hospitals and pharmaceuticals at the expense of the public.