Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Final Holiday

In my understanding of the euthanasia movement, I owe a huge debt to the work of Earl Appleby. Earl has a fantastic blog called Life Matters!

Ron Panzer from the Hospice Patient Alliance, Cheryl Ford and Fr Rob Johansen post there as well.

On Sunday Earl posted a report from the London Telegraph on a British group that has been arranging what can only be described as an airlift of death for British patients to a Swiss suicide clinic:

A secret organisation headed by a retired family doctor is illegally providing terminally ill British people with thousands of pounds to enable them to travel to a Swiss suicide clinic, The Telegraph can reveal.

The Last Choice - or TLC - was set up two months ago by Dr Michael Irwin, a former chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES), to operate as an underground benevolence network for British people seeking to kill themselves.

Or perhaps they can bill it as "The Last Package Tour".

TLC has been covertly channelling funds to them to finance trips to the clinic in Zurich, run by the controversial Swiss charity, Dignitas, which provides people with "doctor-assisted suicides".

Payments of up to £2,000 per person are allocated to cover flights, hotels, cremation and doctors' fees, "according to need".

However members of the TLC refer to the trip as "the Dignitas solution". Also on his CV is Dr Irwin's tenure at the United Nations, but you may not find some of his other credentials listed:

Despite his eminent past as a physician, including his spell at the UN and his position as the chairman of Doctors for Assisted Dying and president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, Dr Irwin, 73, from Cranleigh, Surrey, is not a stranger to the attentions of the police. Eighteen months ago, he resigned as chairman of the VES after admitting conspiring to help to end the life of a man in the Isle of Man. Dr Irwin, who was arrested but not charged over the incident, had travelled to Patrick Kneen's home at his request, armed with a lethal dose of sleeping tablets, but had found Mr Kneen too ill to ingest them.

It would be interesting to find out who is funding these death-junkets. Follow the money, as they say.
papijoe 5:53 AM