image source, Scientific Photo Library

When Ariel Sharon died in January this year, eight years after a stroke, she had probably survived longer than would have been the case if she had lived anywhere else in the world.

Since 2005 it has been illegal in Israel to turn off life support devices when a person is dying or has no hope of recovery. The result is that a large number of patients spend years in intensive care, many of them in an unconscious state.

After surviving Auschwitz only to find himself without a family home after the war, Hava, now 80, made a promise to himself.

When she grew up she would have her children young, she would provide them with a warm home and then after she left home, she and her husband, Schmail, would have a second childhood and this time, she would be happier.