Latvian travels to Switzerland to die

The Latvians have donated 10,000 euros so that a man suffering from throat cancer can travel to Switzerland and die by assisted suicide. The country and the press are divided over the issue.

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Neatkarīgā (LV) /

Do-gooders easing their consciences

The debate on assisted suicide is marked by cowardice, Neatkarīgā writes:

“In the discussion about the need for assisted suicide, the do-gooders prattle on about the ethical aspects and fear that euthanasia will become a weapon in the hands of real estate agents. Our politicians have all of a sudden become oh-so humane and blanked out the problem altogether. Unfortunately Latvia's inadequate medical system can't help everyone. No doubt dozens or even hundreds of terminally ill patients living in intense pain. At the same time all the other Latvians can proudly live in harmony with their Christian conscience because assisted suicide is illegal here. Unfortunately no one is interested in the families that have to deal with such suffering.”

Latvijas Avize (LV) /

Assisted suicide must not turn into a spectacle

The call for donations was published in newspapers and online media. Philosopher Maija Kūle comments sourly in Latvijas avīze:

“For our society euthanasia simply means death accompanied by a doctor, and of one's own accord. That's where the problem starts: how clear is it that the person really desires to die, and is the doctor's judgement regarding incurable disease at all objective? Or are the greedy heirs already rubbing their hands in glee behind the door? From an ethical standpoint we should not authorise assisted suicide. On the other hand, death is a relief for someone in terrible pain. This time the media have botched things up by helping a cancer patient gather money for assisted suicide abroad, in return for which they want him to take part in a dying-and-killing show. Just as abhorrent is suicide tourism, by means of which people pay money to be brought over the border so that they can die in a foreign environment.”