Switzerland is Jack Kevorkian as a country. It permits suicide clinics to which people travel from all over the world to be made dead. This has come to be known by the term “suicide tourism.”
Dignitas is the best known–but certainly not the only–suicide clinic in Switzerland. It has now published its suicide statistics for the year, showing 205 died in its clutches last year–that’s about 4 per week! It reports that 1701 people met their end at Dignitas suicide houses since opening in 1998.
Only a few committed suicide at Dignitas for its first several years of being in business. (D charges thousands of dollars for its death services.) Business really took off starting in 2003 (100) and the number of suicides it facilitates has risen each year since.
Dignitas’ rising toll coincides with the increase internationally in promoting suicide by assisted suicide advocacy organizations, as boosted by a supportive and in-the-tank media. The BBC even aired a video of a Dignitas suicide even though it violated suicide prevention guidelines of the World Health Organization.
Dignitas and other Swiss suicide clinics have helped terminally ill people kill themselves, disabled people kill themselves, and hosted joint suicides of elderly couples.
Dignitas was also instrumental in obtaining a Swiss Supreme Court ruling that the mentally ill have a constitutional right to assisted suicide.
Dignitas is both cold reality and a metaphor for our nihilistic and pro suicide times.
Not coincidentally, the Swiss Constitution recognizes the “dignity” of plants and outlaws flushing a living goldfish down the toilet.
On the other side of the coin, the country does have beautiful mountains.