Friday, June 4, 2010

Dignitas: Kill Them All

The Swiss death clinic, Dignitas, is in the news again.

You’ll recall that Dignitas has gained notoriety as a fee-for-service killing venue for those who wish to die via assisted suicide. Dignitas has been most exposed by high-profile visits from UK citizens who travelled to the clinic to die because in the UK assisted suicide is illegal, and allows for the prosecution (at least on paper) of those who help people kill themselves.

However, there’s a very ugly underbelly to all the spin that Dignitas is a haven of care and a celebration of human autonomy.

There have been reports of dingy and dirty surroundings, less than dignified treatment of those who come to be killed both before and after they die, and the nagging fact that this is all offered at a rather exorbitant fee.

It gets worse. Several months ago hundreds of urns with the cremated remains of Dignitas’ victims were discovered dumped in Lake Geneva. This matter is currently under investigation.

Dignitas is again in the news, and I’m not sure why this latest issue so surprises the media, because Dignitas is doing exactly what it has always said it was doing: Helping anyone who wants to to kick the bucket.

The latest flap involves Dignitas’ providing a suicide kit to a 39 year-old Spanish man with severe psychological problems. From London's Daily Mail:

Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas is under investigation over claims that it ignored a patient's distressed mental condition to give him drugs to end his own life. . . . But now details have emerged of a patient who was allegedly given a DIY suicide kit prescribed by a Zurich gynaeologist despite suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. . . . But a Dignitas report on the 39-year-old Spanish man's mental state was a few lines that barely covered half a page of A4 paper, say local media reports on the death.


Or maybe not.

Here’s why: All the chatter about “transparency,” policies to “protect,” rigid controls to ensure that no “mistakes” are made is all smoke and mirrors on the way to the only goal the pro-death crowd have always wanted: Assisted suicide and euthanasia on demand and available for anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Don’t take my word for it, take those of Dignitas’ owner Minelli:

'Every person in Europe has the right to choose to die, even if they are not terminally ill.'


1 comment:

Joel Raupe said...

It's a slippery slope, indeed, once life's intrinsic, transcendent value is exchanged for some arbitrary measure of it's "quality."