Thursday, April 29, 2010

The slippery slope into Lake Zurich

Hundreds of urns containing human ashes have been found at the bottom of Switzerland's Lake Zurich. Indications are they originated in Dignitas, a business that has made Switzerland the suicide capital of the world.

A former employee said that dumping urns was standard procedure at the suicide facility, that Dignitas director Ludwig Minelli has himself dumped at least 300 into the lake. Authorities claim that someone has committed the crime of disposing of urns containing human remains without a licence.

This licence attitude was mocked in the film Return of the Pink Panther. As a Swiss policeman, Peter Sellers demanded to see a street beggar's "lee-saunce for zet men-key." All the while, an armed robbery was going on the the background. To top off the absurdity, Sellers retrieves and returns, with a tip of the hat, a packet of money dropped by the robber as he ran to the get-away car.

In the case of Dignitas, the Swiss show more concern with licence enforcement than the greater evil of assisted suicide. In fact, the government has legalized the procedure, creating the phenomenon of suicide tourism.

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