Section 9

Most people join for the re-assurance

“Stop worrying about how you’re going to die in the future and get on with living life well in the present”

Over 1,500 British people are members of Dignitas, Lifecircle or Pegasos.  

Yet only about 50 or 60 each year make the journey to achieve an assisted suicide.

Upon the assumption that most people making that journey will have been a member for no more than five years, it seems that most people who join never decide to go.

At first sight, this seems very odd.   However :

  • Many people are members of more than one of the centres and some are members of all three.
  • Some never intended to make the journey, just to support the campaigning activities for further legal reforms around the world.
  • Some did fully intend to go to Switzerland but left it too late.
  • For some it just became unnecessary.

Most probably, however, the biggest single reason is that people joined for the simple re-assurance of knowing that they could go to Switzlerland if the need arose.   Leading Philosopher, Professor A C Grayling makes the point strongly that “possessing the knowledge that the end of your life is likely to be within your own control leaves you free to concentrate on actually living it.”

There are several clips on YouTube of people who have had an assisted suicide or are intending to have one at some time in the future.   Few of these, due to the rules of YouTube itself can show the actual moment of their death, but all seem to have one thing in common.   The people want control over the circumstances.   They want the re-assurance that the pain, cost and loss of dignity of a “natural” end can be avoided if absolutely necessary.

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Section 10.1

Planning your visit - Forward planning