Thursday, June 24, 2010

Death with Dignity house or Dignitas suicide clinic

Dignitas comes to Oregon.

It appears that Dr. Stuart Weisberg, a Portland psychiatrist, intends to open a Death with Dignity house that is similar in scope to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland.

A recent article in the Atlantic monthly magazine interviewed supporters and detractors of Ludwig Minelli, the founder of Dignitas, including Soraya Wernli, a former Dignitas employee.

Link to a commentary to the Atlantic monthly article:

Dignitas is known for pushing social limits, dumping Urns of ashes from their dead clients into Lake Zurich, experimenting with helium and exit bags on their clients, selling the left-over items from their dead clients to pawn shops, charging large fees for their suicide service, etc. The Zurich government has been unsuccessful in their attempts to stop the Dignitas suicide clinic.

Recently Dignitas opened a new home in Zurich called the "Blue Oasis" which seems very similar to the proposed Death with Dignity house. Weisberg is simply introducing a similar suicide system in Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal since 1998.

Weisberg has invited Jack Kevorkian to join him on July 21 to announce the opening of their Death with Dignity house.

I am sure Jack will make an incredible edition to the project, especially considering his fascination with experimenting with death and on the dead.

Similar to Dignitas, people can purchase extra services for their dying enjoyment. An article stated:
They include catering, security, video taping, music, flowers and -- for an additional $1,200 -- three hours with the psychiatrist and his therapy dog. The total package carries a price tag of $5,000.

Does the dog know about the incredible fees that are being collected by its service?

Not everyone is happy in the suicide promotion lobby. George Eighmey from Compassion and Choices, the group that last year facilitated 97% of all assisted suicides in Oregon, stated:
"Never heard of him,"

"I don't think his setting up a business to do it -- in my opinion is not appropriate, and even the taking of the photographs and videos is ghoulish,".

But then again, Eighmey is also concerned about the potential for competition and about losing control of the law. Compassion and Choices has developed a monopoly on assisted suicide in Oregon to control the information flow about the assisted suicide law and to enable them to convince people that there are no problems with the Oregon law.

Cornering the market on physician-assisted suicide is worth reading:

It is much easier to promote the legalization of assisted suicide when the only real information that is known about the law comes from the suicide promotion lobby. But Eighmey does correctly recognize that Weisberg is planning a Dignitas type death clinic. Eighmey said:
the only place akin to what Weisberg proposes is Dignitas in Switzerland.

Like Kevorkian, Weisberg doesn't appear to have a great record with the medical board. The article in the Oregonian stated:
Weisberg, 37, is a solo practitioner with an office in Northwest Portland. In 2006, the Oregon Medical Board disciplined him for improperly prescribing psychoactive drugs to seven patients who were recovering drug addicts or dealing with chronic pain.

The board's order said Weisberg, who earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2000, was terminated from his four-year residency at OHSU several months before he was to finish. No explanation was given.

On July 9, 2009, the board ended Weisberg's probation a year early and put him instead under the wing of an unnamed "practice mentor," another doctor who was to meet twice a month with Weisberg and file quarterly reports with the board.

Before reading further, I suggest you google Dr. Michael Swango. He was also terminated from his residency program, experienced similar medical complaints, and had a fascination with death and killing.

The reality is that now that assisted suicide is legal and socially accepted in Oregon, it should not surprise anyone that someone would decide to make the practise of killing into a business. By the way, there is nothing in the law to prevent Weisberg from setting up his suicide clinic

Link to the article in the Oregonian:

Link to the article in

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