The founder of the Swiss assisted-suicide clinic Dignitas revealed plans Thursday to help a healthy wife die alongside her terminally ill husband.
Ludwig Minelli described suicide as a “marvellous opportunity” that should not be restricted to the terminally ill or people with severe disabilities.
The Dignitas clinic, based in a Zurich apartment, claims to have already assisted in the suicides of more than 100 British people.
Minelli said that anyone who has “mental capacity” should be allowed to have an assisted suicide, claiming that it would save money for the National Health Service.
He said that he expected to go to the Swiss courts to seek a ruling in the controversial case of a Canadian couple who have asked to die together.
“The husband is ill, his partner is not ill but she told us here in my living room that, ’If my husband goes, I would go at the same time with him’,” he said.
Minelli, a human rights lawyer, tells The Report on BBC Radio 4 Thursday that the British had an “obsession” with the requirement to be terminally ill.
“It is not a condition to have a terminal illness,” he said. “Terminal illness is a British obsession. As a human rights lawyer I am opposed to the idea of paternalism. We do not make decisions for other people.
“We should have a nicer attitude to suicide, saying suicide is a very good possibility to escape."