By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (published on Alex's blog)
Criminal trespassing charges filed by Ludwig Minelli, the founder of the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic against Swiss police and a forensic medical team was rejected by the Swiss Federal Court.
According to the Swiss media:
The court decided that there would be no criminal proceedings against seven members of canton Zurich’s prosecution, police and forensic medicine teams. In August 2012, they were called to a house in Pfäffikon for a legal inspection involving a person who had committed assisted suicide. In another room, they noticed a second person who was not dying as expected but gasping for air.
The civil servants decided to take the 67-year-old woman ... to the hospital, where she received painkillers and died the same day. The government employees stayed at the house owned by Dignitas until the paramedics arrived.
Minelli filed criminal trespassing charges because the authorities didn't leave the Dignitas suicide clinic after he asked them to leave. The media article stated:
...the Federal Court in Lausanne concluded that it is understandable that the people present had assumed that something had gone wrong in the case of the second accompanied suicide, and that they had tried to uphold the rights of the unconscious woman. The judges said that by virtue of their function it was correct to stay in the Dignitas house and take measures to protect her.
The Dignitas assisted suicide clinic has been associated with several controversial assisted suicide deaths.
In February, 2014 Oriella Cazzanello, 85, travelled to the Dignitas suicide clinic in Basel, Switzerland, where she paid €10,000 for an assisted suicide because was unhappy about losing her looks.
In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria in southern Italy died by assisted suicide at Dignitas assisted suicide clinic. His autopsy showed that he was wrongly diagnosed and was not terminally ill.
In July 2013, a Swiss regional court found Dr. Philippe Freiburghaus “crossed the line” by assisting a suicide without obtaining a diagnosis. On April 23, 2014, Dr Freiburghaus was acquitted. The reasons for the acquittal were not made public.
Dignitas founder, Ludwig Minelli, has reportedly made millions on assisted suicide. A few years ago a former Dignitas employee, Soraya Wernli, spoke about the many abuses at the Dignitas suicide clinic.