Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Dignitas Membership Card

In light of the news that famous conductor, Sir Edward Downes, 85, and his wife Joan, 74, tragically opted to travel to the Dignitas clinic to have themselves put down, I discovered on The Times website that almost 800 people are now members of Dignitas. The clinic charges €4,000 for assisted suicide. That is, they take your cash and then they kill you. Dignitas are the kind of clinic who describe killing people in the same way a gangster might describe 'taking out' a rival gangster. They 'help you along'.

Above is a possible membership card for the organisation. I was also wondering what other perks and benefits being a member of Dignitas can bring. I don't know, perhaps a monthly magazine containing interviews with now dead people who only have good things to say about their imminent date with their Maker at the hands of the clinic. Perhaps a death roll of all the people who have been killed this month with the Star Employee award for the nurse who has helped knock off the most 'patients' or 'members'. Or perhaps one of those novelty tourist t-shirts. "I went to Dignitas and all I got was this lousy t-shirt and a lethal cocktail of barbiturates. It's even more useless to me now that I'm dead."

As far as I can see there are no benefits to being a member of Dignitas. The only rewards are financial and the only ones who reap the rewards of membership of Dignitas are, well, Dignitas. They must be the only organisation who leap for joy when their membership is actually declining...ker-ching...

History is littered with men and women who 'helped people to die'. Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Jack the Ripper...Heck, those guys enjoyed helping people to die so much they didn't even charge.


Larry Denninger said...

Maybe they get buried in the t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

As human beings, we are given our life by a greater force - we call that force God, life force, whatever. At the same time, we are also given freedom to make our own decisions on and participate in the course of events that transpire in our lifetime.

To live is a complex business. So is any personal decision to end one's life. There is no one-size-fit-all guideline. There are circumstances where suicide by choice is emminently acceptable - such as where the individual is suffering unrelenting and unremitted pain, and when the decision is made after careful considerations. What is wrong with helping these individuals to end their life in a way that respects their autonomy and dignity?

The world calls for greater compassion, empathy, acceptance and understanding.

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