Human Exceptionalism

Switzerland is Kevorkian as a Country

Jack Kevorkian’s first death was of Janet Adkins, who had early stage Alzheimer’s, but was so fit she beat her son at tennis a few days before she died. (He actually murdered her by lethal injection, according to his own statement to Larry King). Now, one of the Swiss suicide clinics is apparently to host the suicide of a man with Alzheimer’s. From the Daily Mail story:

An 83-year-old dementia sufferer plans to die at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic, it was claimed yesterday. The British professional man would be the first to end his life at the Swiss clinic purely because of dementia. His plans were publicised by Michael Irwin, a campaigner nicknamed Dr Death, who says he has helped at least 25 people who have died at Dignitas and advised many more. Mr Irwin, 80, has been investigated in the past  over assisted suicide – an offence carrying a 14-year jail sentence – but has never been arrested.

Irwin is a self-promoter and ideologue for the culture of death from way back. (I once debated him on the BBC.) That’s why I am so sure that every effort is being made to help this poor man find a different way, such as interventions and suicide prevention. I mean, that’s what a truly compassionate person would do. 

Compassion? Why that’s Irwin’s middle name!

’The severely disabled and the elderly with medical problems should be equally well discussed nowadays, especially with an ageing population,” Mr Irwin said. “The desire to stop being a burden on one’s family and to avoid squandering financial resources perhaps better spent on grandchildren’s further education could become the final altruistic gesture, especially when combined with a wish to stop prolonging a life that is both futile and very unpleasant.”

But back to Switzerland. Their suicide clinics seem to accept all comers, and the Swiss refused to shut the suicide tourism down. Which is why I call it Kevorkian as a country. 

Culture of death, Wesley? What culture of death?

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