The fatman chronicles--all hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."--Patterico's Pledge

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cocktails For One, Appetizers For None

There is an organization, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, which calls itself Dignitas. Its motto? "Live with dignity, die with dignity." Its stated goal: to assist anyone who wants to die to commit suicide.

Recently, an unnamed, sixty-nine-year old woman from Augsberg, Bavaria, Germany, used the services of Dignatas to commit suicide and escape a slow, painful death from cirrhosis of the liver. Now this is legal in Switzerland, though not (I think) in Germany. But since the act took place in Zurich, there was no problem, right?

Well, not exactly. Seems the woman was suffering from depression, not cirrhosis. In fact, an autopsy conducted later in Germany showed that the woman was in good physical health, and that the medical report she used to convince Dignitas that she was dying had been falsified by her unnamed general physician.

Now the GP claims he "knows nothzing...nothzing!" (Sergeant Shultz, anyone?) and says he falsified the report so the woman could get time off from work. That'll be cold comfort to the unnamed doctor who helped the woman kill herself; he committed suicide.

Dignitas was founded by one Ludwig Minnelli, who had this to say:

"The doctor's report that I was given indicated the woman was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver as well as hepatitis. And in any case every person in Europe has the right to choose to die, even if they are not terminally ill."

Hans-Juergen Kolb, senior prosecutor for Augsberg has said that an investigation into both doctors has begun. ""We are co-operating with the Swiss authorities," said Kolb, according to the UK's Times on Line. "Post mortem reports have already shown that she was not suffering from irreversible liver damage, and if we find that her mental health was in doubt the charges could be more serious."" Hmmm...sounds like Dignitas and/or the GP needs a lawyer. I wonder if George Felos is available. (Michael Schiavo's attorney, for those of you with short memories.)

Dignitas was founded by Minnelli in 1998 and has helped four-hundred-fifty-three people commit suicide since then. An office in Hanover was opened last month, in the hopes of advancing Minnelli's pro-euthanasia agenda in Germany, which has generally resisted the pro-suicide/euthanasia movement in Europe (gee, I wonder why).

"Regional justice minister for Lower Saxony, Elisabeth Heister-Neumann, charged Minelli with being financially motivated. "Making poisonous cocktails available has deviated into pure business, and medical reports are being misused as an excuse," she emphasized."

No, I think she's wrong there. IMHO, people like Minelli and Felos do this for the thrill of knowing that they've taken a human life and that no one can touch them for it. Many even praise them for it. It must make them feel like gods.

In his own words,

"Minelli told the UK's Telegraph last year that Dignitas would gladly assist anyone to die, "irrespective of medical condition. It does not matter what people are suffering from, we do not refuse anyone.""

Creepy. But if you've got $2,400, a one-way ticket to Zurich, and you really want to get away from it all (literally), this could be the chance of a (much shorter) lifetime.

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