The founder of controversial Swissassisted-suicide clinic Dignitas, Ludwig Minelli, has said that anyone whoseterminally ill partner commits suicide should also be assisted in dying – evenif they are in perfect physical health. Minelli wants the drug prescribed tohis clients to be available to partners of patients who suffer dementia. Underpresent Swiss law it is only legal to assist the terminally ill in dying.

He said: “A change in the law is requiredto give dementia sufferers and their families more opportunities. The partnershould be allowed to have a prescription for these drugs even when they are notterminally ill. In such cases the partners are often a similar age and one doesnot want to remain without the other.”

The human rights lawyer and activist spokeafter a case last fortnight in which a 64-year-old man strangled his wife of 30years who was affected by Alzheimer’s. He described the act as one “ofdesperation”. Zurich public prosecutor Andreas Brunner denied Mr Minelli’sproposal for the proposal to be widened. He said: “In my view, no change in thelaw should be sought.”

Minelli has previously argued that healthy people should be grantedthe right to end their lives at Dignitas and other suicide clinics. Last year hesaid that assisted suicide shouldbe made available “on demand”. He said that suicide was not just for the dying,but “a marvellous possibility given to a human being”. ~ Daily Mail,Oct 19

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.