Thursday, June 10, 2010

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

Mark Mostert
I was looking through my emails and came across this excellent blog comment by Mark Mostert from the Institute for the Study of Disabilities & Bioethics. Here is what he wrote:

Dignitas: Kill Them All

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.'


Link to Mark Mostert's blog:


Laurel said...

And if you believe we're only animals with no future and no hope, why not??? How sad. :(

I believe we need to fight for euthanasia to remain illegal, but I often wonder how far we can get without the life-changing belief in the God of Creation and Salvation, Jesus Christ? Without the truth of Creation and the death and resurrection of Jesus, what is our foundation for insisting people trust their lives to the living God? How can the general population of voters understand the true dignity of every life?

Sometimes I wonder, if we were to put the effort and finances into reaching the lost instead of specific "causes" would that be the better way????

But, not to worry, as I wrestle with this question, I will still continue to support you! :)

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Laurel:

There are many ways to express your opposition to the direct and intentional killing of vulnerable people.

Many people aren't very religious and are uncomfortable with people who aspouse a Christian point of view. We need to work with everyone.

My attitude is simple. Some people oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide for secular reasons and others for religious reasons. Some people have a personal story of how a family member or a friend was treated while they were experiencing life limiting or life threatening conditions while others experienced rejection themselves.

We must recognize that we have a common work to do and it can be done in many ways.