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The Suicide Tourist

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« on: August 27, 2009, 01:16:01 pm »
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The controversy about a person's right to die at a time and place of their own choosing has become focused on the Swiss organisation Dignitas, and its founder, civil rights lawyer, Ludwig Minelli. Dignitas, based in Zurich Switzerland, is the only place in the world where a person seeking an assisted suicide can be helped to die, no matter where they are from. For a year, Oscar-winning Canadian director John Zaritsky had exclusive access to Dignitas, and its clients.

In The Suicide Tourist, Zaritsky tells two interwoven stories about suicide. In the first, he follows a terminally ill man, 59-year-old American Craig Ewert, through the last four days of his life - preparing to leave his adopted home in England for the last time, then on his journey to Zurich, and into the care of Dignitas, with whose help he will end his life. Dignitas - a kind of travel agency to the afterlife - has made all the arrangements.

His death takes place in a rented apartment, where a Dignitas employee prepares a fatal drink. With his wife Mary at his side, Craig swallows the poison, and slips quietly into a final sleep.

In Switzerland, the law says only that suicide must not be assisted for personal gain. Ludwig Minelli believes the option of a painless and dignified death is a basic human right, and should be legal for all.

The second story in The Suicide Tourist follows Canadian couple George and Betty Coumbias, who test that philosophy, and the Swiss tolerance for a law that some say is giving Zurich a reputation for suicide tourism. George has terminal heart disease, and would like to choose the time of his death with the help of Dignitas; his wife Betty is determined to die with him, even though she is perfectly healthy.


Quote Megan-au

Why on earth people have to travel half way around the world instead of being able to pass peacefully in their own bed with their family with them is beyond me .........it is damn cruel .

This man was spot on when he said , doctors play god everyday when they treat premature babies or even do an organ transplant .........How is interference at the end of life any different to that at any stage of life ?

spot on Megan...
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 01:58:30 pm »
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The added cost of flying a body back home seems a waste.

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