Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Switzerland: Suicide Clinic Being Evicted from Building

Neighbor says "We call it the house of horrors. This is meant to be a residential flat but some days you'd think it was a morgue."

From "Neighbor's Complaints Succeed in Evicting Dignitas from Residence" by Elizabeth O'Brien, posted 7/17/07 at

The Swiss assisted-suicide group Dignitas has been evicted from its operation site in a suburban area due to growing complaints from neighbors.

For nine years the assisted-suicide clinic at Gertrudstrasse 84 received people who wanted to kill themselves, Spiegel News reports. The organization took up two apartments of the apartment block; but recently the owner cancelled their lease because residents were horrified by the stream of body bags that were carried out on the elevator and are frustrated by the police and ambulances that constantly come to the door.

The landlady has given Dignitas until September to find a new residence. The eviction is especially significant, reports Spiegel, because the landlady is a cousin of Ludwig Minelli, the head and primary launcher of Dignitas.

55-year old resident Gloria Sonny started the eviction movement, gathering signatures to petition against Dignitas. She told Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung that the place had become a "house of death." Last year Sonny was also quoted in UK's Telegraph, "We call it the 'House of Horrors'. This is meant to be a residential flat but some days you'd think it was a morgue."

She also noted that not all of the people who came with a one-way ticket were old. She said, "The look in their eyes haunts me, particularly if they are young."

Other residents complained that their children were constantly exposed to the dying and dead bodies. One woman was quoted in the Guardian Unlimited, saying that she changed her household chores in order not to "bump into a corpse while I'm taking out the rubbish."

Read the rest of this article.