Suicide clinics could come to UK, says care home boss

Thu, 11 Jul 2013

The UK could eventually have assisted suicide clinics like Dignitas in Switzerland, a care home boss has said.

Dr Chai Patel runs a chain of more than 230 elderly care homes across the country.

He says financial considerations should not drive the issue, but he acknowledges “what will be, will be”.

Debate

He wants a wider debate about how people decide to die, which he says could eventually lead to suicide clinics in the UK.

He said people should be allowed to make “grown up decisions” about how they want to die.

But critics say legalising assisted suicide will put pressure on vulnerable patients to die quickly.

Controversies

The Dignitas clinic in Switzerland – a facility for assisted suicides – has been involved in several controversies.

In 2010, the clinic was investigated by the Swiss authorities after it was revealed the organisation had helped a mentally ill man commit suicide.

And a former Dignitas employee has spoken out against the clinic, saying it is owned by “just one person who has found a way to make a lot of money out of death and the fear of it”.

The former nurse also said urns containing human ashes were unceremoniously dumped in Lake Zurich.

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