News Articles

Wife wants to die with ill spouse

WASHINGTON (BP)–The Swiss assisted-suicide organization Dignitas plans to help a healthy woman die with her terminally ill husband, and a pro-life bioethics specialist says this development should have been expected.

Ludwig Minelli, found of Zurich-based Dignitas, announced his plans to go to a Swiss court to seek permission to aid in the suicides of the Canadian couple, The Times of London reported April 2. Dignitas says it has assisted in the suicides of more than 100 people from Britain, where the practice is illegal.

The “marvelous opportunity” of suicide should not be reserved for the terminally ill or severely disabled, Minelli said, according to The Times. Anyone with “mental capacity” should be able to experience assisted suicide, he said.

“It is not a condition to have a terminal illness,” Minelli was quoted as saying. “Terminal illness is a British obsession. As a human rights lawyer I am opposed to the idea of paternalism. We do not make decisions for other people.

“We should have a nicer attitude to suicide, saying suicide is a very good possibility to escape,” he said.

Bioethics specialist Wesley Smith said of this expansion of the assisted-suicide movement’s pool of potential victims, “I don’t know why anyone would be surprised by this story.

“Assisted suicide advocacy rests on two fundamental ideological premises: First, that we own our bodies and it is the ‘ultimate civil liberty’ to decide on the time, manner and place of our own demise,” Smith wrote on his weblog. “Second, that killing is an acceptable answer to the problem of human suffering. Once these values are accepted, preventing death on demand becomes logically unsustainable.”
Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.

    About the Author

  • Staff