Views from the News
Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
Suicide clinic Dignitas under investigation
The controversial suicide clinic Dignitas is under investigation by the Swiss authorities over claims that it provided drugs to a patient to allow him to end his life, despite his distressed mental condition. Swiss laws on assisted suicide state that each patient must be of sound mind and able to understand the consequences of their actions. But details have now emerged that a DIY suicide kit prescribed by a Zurich gynaecologist was given to a 39-year-old Spanish man in spite of the fact that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
The authorities described the incident as a ‘serious neglect of care’ and warned that the doctor should have investigated more carefully.
Dignitas has long campaigned for further liberalisation of the law claiming that anyone should be able to seek assistance in ending their life, irrespective of whether or not they are terminally ill. Dignitas, which was founded in 1998, has been the subject of fierce criticism since its inception.
Soraya Wernli, a nurse employed by Dignitas for two-and-a-half years, until March 2005, accused the organisation of being a ‘production line of death concerned only with profits’. She resigned from her job at the clinic and contacted the Swiss police.
In April 2010, police divers found a group of over 60 cremation urns in Lake Zurich. Each of the urns bore the logo of the Nordheim crematorium used by Dignitas. Ms. Wernli told The Times eighteen months before the incident that the clinic had dropped at least 300 urns in the lake. In March 2010, Ludwig Minelli admitted in an interview with The Atlantic, a US magazine, that when he had enough urns to fill his car he drove to a quiet spot on Lake Zurich and tossed them into the water!
Glasgow City Council Spending is ‘absurd’
A Scottish council is set to shower thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on a controversial homosexual arts festival despite facing large budget cuts, according to the Scottish Daily Mail. Glasgow City Council is facing cuts of nearly £200 million, and has begun a cost cutting exercise which is expected to see 2,800 workers leave their jobs over the next year. But the council is still planning to spend £25,000 on the highly contentious Glasgay! festival, a decision which has been branded as ‘absurd’ by critics.
Ed Miliband would scrap free speech safeguard
Free speech laws that allow people to express their opinions about homosexual conduct should be scrapped, Labour leadership hopeful Ed Miliband says. Incredibly, he claims that the law – which has been backed by Parliament on four occasions – makes it harder to convict murderers. His extraordinary comments appear in an opinion article he wrote for a homosexual website.
Stamps to commemorate 400th year of KJV
The Royal Mail is planning to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible with a series of special stamps. The commemorative stamps, which are due to be produced next year, have been prompted by numerous requests from members of the general public.
The move has been welcomed by Mervyn Storey, MLA for North Antrim constituency in N. Ireland, who was one of those who petitioned. Mr Storey said, ‘The Authorized, or King James Version of the Bible, is the most influential piece of literature in the English language. However, the King James Version didn’t just influence our literature and language, it also had a beneficial influence upon political and constitutional affairs’. He added, ‘Some time ago I wrote to the Royal Mail requesting that along with what others are doing the Royal Mail should mark this important anniversary with special commemorative stamps’.