Wednesday, May 9

Assisted suicide: Exit and Dignitas x Dr Kevorkian

Jack Kevorkian

Exit and Dignitas,  two non-profit organizations, are making of euthanasia a commerce using strategies to promote their work that are similar to mainstream propaganda.

The millionaire Terry Pratchett received a VIP treatment and his suicide, assisted by Dignitas, was transmitted at BBC.

The criticism that followed was, of course, a backlash for the euthanasia and assisted suicide debates.

Exit and Dignitas sell many items and the drug they choose as the most efficacious is Nembutal, pentobarbital. They tell people to fly to Mexico because it is the only country where the drug can be bought.
There is a huge difference in advocating for the right to die and profiting from it. The two organizations are "non-profit".

The founder of Dignitas is said to have become a millionaire in ten years.
"A decade later, (after Dignitas clinic) the Beobachter investigation found, he had an annual taxable income of £98,000 and a personal fortune of over £1.2 million, wealth that includes a luxury villa."(...) "But the cost of a simple suicide at Dignitas has risen from £1,800 in 2005 to £4,500, fuelling suspicions that the clinic may not be sticking to Swiss laws that are supposed to prevent people “selfishly” profiting from assisted suicide." The Telegraph.
"One nurse who assisted 30 deaths during her two and a half years at the clinic said she was so disturbed by its activities that she quit her job. The Daily Mail
Dr. Kevorkian didn't ask for money. He dedicated his life in raising awareness about euthanasia and what he did:
"Kevorkian was imprisoned for eight years. As a condition of his parole in 2007, he promised not to assist in any more suicides.
He himself had appealed to leave prison early because of poor health, but said he did not consider himself a candidate for assisted suicide.
Kevorkian did not leave the public eye after his exit from prison, giving occasional lectures and in 2008 running for Congress unsuccessfully.
Born in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac, Kevorkian taught himself the flute and was a painter. Well read in philosophy and history, he cited Aristotle, Sir Thomas More and Pliny the Elder in his arguments for why people should have the right to die with dignity.
In a June 2010 interview with Reuters Television, the right-to-die activist said he was afraid of death as much as anyone else and said the world had a hypocritical attitude toward voluntary euthanasia, or assisted suicide.
"If we can aid people into coming into the world, why can't we aid them in exiting the world?" he said. (emphasis added)
Doctor-assisted suicide essentially became law in Oregon in 1997 and in Washington state in 2009. The practice of doctors writing prescriptions to help terminally ill patients kill themselves was ultimately upheld as legal by the U.S. Supreme Court. (Reuter's whole article here)."
He had integrity and he really cared about people and organizations like Dignitas and Exit care about money.

The discussion about euthanasia is far from over but people are committing suicide or searching for assisted suicide. Organizations like Exit and Dignitas are not helping to  broad the discussion, on the contrary, they give more arguments for those who are against euthanasia.
Dignitas and Exit are making a scandal out of a serious problem.

The way things are now assisted suicide is for the few who are willing to go on a trip to Zwitzerland and can pay for everything Dignitas charge. The others? They can commit suicide after that's what has been happening for centuries. Not even the state or the Pope's approval is necessary.
Lawful of unlawful it's one person's choice.
In the US's states of Oregon, Montana and Washington, Belgium, and Netherlands where assisted suicide is legal, unlike Switzerland where it is not legal, the debate is still going on.
Dr. Kevorkian did not ask for money and charging to help someone to take a very cheap drug is unethical and quite undignified. Commercializing assisted suicide is outrageous.
Ludwig Minelli, Dignitas founder, is a lawyer. Ironic.


hastydecision said...

We give euthanasia to our pets to end their suffering, but in most places it is a crime to do the same for humans. Even the old testament bible says to be merciful and end the suffering of the terminally ill. Ancient doctors carried poisons to kill patients they could not save or cure. We have become inhuman to make hospitals and drug companies richer.

Ana said...

I didn't know about the old testament.
Yes, sometimes I even think that ERs saves people that didn't want to have their lives altered the way it does.
But saving lives, no matter what, seems to be the rule.