His sister, Leila, was found dead in a London hotel room in 2001 after taking an overdose of barbiturates.
In July, with their adult children standing next to them, they drank a cocktail of barbiturates and sank into the deepest sleep.
She had taken an overdose of barbiturates, whether deliberately or accidentally it was impossible to tell.
Like all barbiturates, it can overwhelm alertness to the point of stopping the urge to breathe.
1928 (morphine barbiturate is from 1918), from German, coined 1863 by chemist Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917) from Barbitursäure "barbituric acid," itself coined by Baeyer, perhaps from woman's name Barbara, or perhaps from Latin barbata, in Medieval Latin usnea barbata, literally "bearded moss." Second element is because it was obtained from uric acid. With chemical ending -ate (3).
barbiturate bar·bi·tu·rate (bär-bĭch'ər-ĭt, -ə-rāt', bär'bĭ-tur'ĭt, -āt', -tyur'-)
A salt or ester of barbituric acid.
Any of a group of barbituric acid derivatives that act as central nervous system depressants and are used as sedatives or hypnotics.