The Wall Street Journal reports on a backlash against Dignitas, a Swiss company that helps non-terminal patients–usually foreigners–commit suicide. The group goes beyond pursuing a “right to die” when patients are terminally ill, and instead argues that anyone should be free to kill themselves.
The Journal reports, “The Swiss government has proposed a law making it tougher for groups to help people die. A report attached to the bill discusses in detail the practices of Dignitas. In coming months, Swiss legislators will grapple with the choice between letting people decide when and how to end their lives and guarding against abuses by assisted-suicide organizations.”
Dignitas has been anything but responsible in pursuing its goal to help people die. “When Zurich government officials demanded in 2008 that assisted-suicide groups get two doctors to sign off on a suicide before one of them could write a prescription for the lethal drug, Mr. Minelli [Dignitas’s founder] helped four people suffocate themselves with helium and masks, without doctors in attendance. The media coverage in Switzerland kicked up a storm of protest against Dignitas.”
The potential for abuse is just one way in which euthanasia and assisted suicide offends the conscience. The group’s name to the contrary, there’s nothing dignifying about suicide. Dignity is not something that comes and goes with our circumstances, but rather something that we hold within us despite the situation we find ourselves in. Being creatures in the image of God, carrying the sacredness that implies, suicide–whether aided or for perceived good reason–strips our inherent dignity.
No highfalutin sounding corporate name could make it otherwise.