April 20, 2024

Has assisted suicide made the founder of Dignitas a millionaire?

Swiss newspaper investigates finances of Dignitas

Ludwig MinelliAn investigation by the Swiss newspaper Beobachter
has suggested that the assisted suicide business has made the head of Dignitas,
Ludwig Minelli, a millionaire. Assisted suicide is lawful in Switzerland, but those
assisting may not “selfishly” profit from the death. The Beobachter points out
that Minelli declared that he had no taxable personal fortune in 1998, when he
established Dignitas. Ten years lager, he has an annual income of about
US$150,000 and a personal fortune of $1.8 million. How did he become so
wealthy, asks Beobachter.

Andreas Brunner, a Swiss prosecutor, claims
that Minelli is hiding behind Swiss privacy laws. ”We have never had a good
look at their book-keeping but in order to demand that we need a good reason
and a concrete example that there is something suspicious to investigate,” he
said. “He has promised for years to make the accounts public but it has never

Soraya Wernli, a nurse who worked for
Dignitas between 2003 and 2005, has accused it of being a “production line of
death concerned only with profits”. Minelli acknowledges that selfishly assisting
a suicide is illegal, but that profiting from it is not, so long as “you are
helping and abetting without selfish motives”. London
Telegraph, June 24

Michael Cook
assisted suicide