Thursday, June 15, 2023

Catherine Kassenoff's assisted suicide death of despair

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A June 12, 2023 Daily Mail article by Hope Sloop tells of Catherine Kassenoff who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland.

Kassenoff, a former New York prosecutor who had cancer, suggested in a facebook message that she decided to die by assisted suicide in Switzerland because of her abusive former husband. The article states:

In a shocking and heartbreaking post on Facebook, Catherine had asserted that Allan abused her and was attempting to ruin her life prior to her death.

The woman, who at one point worked as special counsel to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, said she was a victim to a 'predatory' court system that kept her kids away.

The couple had, according to Catherine's post, been engaged in a nasty custody battle for their three daughters that continued to escalate.
Catherine Kassenoff lost custody of her children in the divorce battle with her husband. Sloop writes that Allan Kassenoff, a successful lawyer, is currently on leave from his work.

A Westchester News 12 report on June 1, 2023 by Blaise Gomez stated:
Catherine Kassenoff beat breast cancer twice, but it was a battle in Westchester County Court for her kids that ultimately was too much.
The former federal prosecutor-turned-family-court-activist sent an email to supporters Saturday.

“I cannot survive this torment and the grief that comes from such a prolonged separation from my children,” it read.

Kassenoff said she chose assisted suicide in Switzerland after the court allegedly denied her visitation with her three girls during a terminal cancer diagnosis.
In Canada there have been many stories of people with disabilities who died by euthanasia based on poverty, homelessness, an inability to receive medical treatment, and other social concerns.

The story of Catherine Kassenoff shows how assisted suicide is not a form of autonomy but rather abandonment. Kassenoff's death by assisted suicide was a "death of despair."

How many similar deaths occur without media attention?

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