Head of Assisted Suicide Clinics Dignitas on Trial For Killing Non-Terminally Ill Woman For Profit

Ludwig Minelli, founder of Swiss assisted suicide clinics Dignitas where over 2,100 people have died since 1998, has been accused of profiteering and exploiting patients’ suffering for his own benefit.

“Mr Minelli is accused of arranging the assisted suicide of one German woman because she left the organisation 100,000 Swiss francs (£74,000) in her will,” according to SPUC. “He is also accused of overcharging a mother and daughter by around 11,000 Swiss francs (£8,000) to arrange their suicide. Providing assisted suicide in Switzerland is not illegal, but it is illegal to do so for profit, under the threat of a maximum five year prison sentence.”

Minelli reportedly arranged the suicide of an 80-year-old German woman who was not terminally ill, even though three doctors said to do so would be unethical. Minelli managed to find a fourth doctor to prescribe sodium pentobarbital. The elderly woman, who gave power of attorney to Minelli, allowed him to transfer money to a Dignitas account when she died.

“Further, they say, he did not honour her request to have her ashes buried beside her husband in Germany, but disposed of them in Lake Zurich,” SPUC reported.

Minelli has denied the charges calling them “inconsistent and absurd.”