More Help From Switzerland
A very interesting development regarding end of life issues has just occurred in
Dr. Erika Preisig, who has been working as a consulting doctor for Dignitas for many years, has now formed lifecircle/Eternal Spirit www.lifecircle.ch . Her new organization will offer a similar service to that offered by Dignitas and so people living in
According to Erika, Dignitas is doing a very good job for their clients but, in her opinion, Mr. Minelli, who is the CEO of Dignitas, is too combative with the Swiss authorities. She plans to offer a similar service but with more peace and co-operation between lifecircle and the authorities.
She plans to work with her clients to prevent their suicide and to make life better for them by explaining the options that they have, including the benefits of palliative care. As she says, “Only if you know everything about palliative care, which may also be given at home, can you decide which way of dying is the right one for you.”
However, if a client has an incurable illness and their suffering is intolerable then she will respect their wish for an assisted voluntary death (as she refers to our “medically assisted death”). These people will be referred to the Eternal Spirit Foundation.
In order to qualify for a medically assisted death with Eternal Spirit Foundation a person must meet the following conditions:
1. They need to become a member of lifecircle.
2. They need to have a living will that is approved by lifecircle.
3. They must provide reports from at least 2 doctors regarding their medical condition.
4. The client must submit a written explanation of why life has become intolerable and why they want a medically assisted death.
5. They must furnish a written report of the medications and therapies they have received to make their life more tolerable.
Once they have received this information the board of the foundation will decide whether, under the conditions imposed by Swiss law, the assisted voluntary death is possible.
Dr. Preisig also mentions that one of her reasons for providing additional help to those people who are suffering so badly that they are planning on a medically assisted death is that by doing so more foreigners will be able go to Switzerland for this service. This will put more pressure on the authorities in the countries from which these people travel to legalize medically assisted dying in their own countries. Once the legislation has been changed then people from those countries will no longer have to leave home to die. We passionately hope that she is right!