In my last blog I wrote about the process of Assisted Dying in Switzerland. A country I have loved to ski and walk in for many years and a country I feel very at home in, as do my two dogs and my previous dog who sadly died from lung cancer.
I am grateful to David Pearce for enlightening me to the existence of another organisation based in Basel in Switzerland that is also committed to the dignity of mankind and to promoting the legislation of assisted voluntary death. This organisation was, I understand, started in November 2011 by a Doctor who had previously worked for Dignitas. It is named Lifecircle and works under similar principles to Dignitas and within the Swiss legal system and requires a Living will. All applications for assisted dying from its members are considered by a foundation called Eternal SPIRIT which supports Lifecircle and other institutions. I am reassured by the protective mechanisms in place by all the organisations, and there preventative approach to suicide.
To apply for help an individual must have an incurable medical condition and have proven mental capabliity to determine and be physically able to take their own life. Swiss residents are usually counselled by their own doctor and may be cared for at home. People coming for other countries need to have at least two consultations with a Swiss doctor and will probably spend at least four days in Switzerland and die in the organisations facility.
As much as I love to visit the country , I still feel that dying in one’s own home with one’s loved ones around and at a time not determined by physical capability would be preferable. One of the quotes on the Lifecircle page was ” I would like to fall asleep as gently as my dog did “