Quotations - Archive


For a full collection of quotations, see the Swissgerman part of our website


July 2024

“And no family should have to face the torture of walking away from their
loved one’s body. For us, that will always be the hardest part. […]
Giving a terminally ill person control and choice over how they die
transforms the remainder of their lives and enhances the quality
and pleasure of their remaining days immeasurably.”

Julie Casson

In: “My husband said he’d found a cure for his terminal illness – then he was gone”
Metro, 29.6.24

June 2024

"I can live longer knowing that MAD may be available to me,
certainly I will live more peacefully with the prospect."

Paddy Brocherie, Christchurch, New Zealand

in: Letters to the editor, "The Post", 1 June 2024

April 2024

"Why should the question of terminality be regarded as a relevant criterion at all? Indeed, provided pain is adequately controlled, the terminally ill patient is less likely to need euthanasia than someone whose equally distressing illness or disability is not terminal, since the latter could face many years of suffering. The two most important criteria are surely the intolerable nature of the condition and its incurability – the proper question being whether an intolerable condition is apparently incurable, not whether it is terminal."

Barbara Smoker

UK social justice movement activist, former Chair of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, Editor of “Voluntary Euthanasia: experts debate the right to die”

November 2023

"Strong personal faith and support for choice at the end of life are not
mutually exclusive. In fact, I support the legalisation of assisted dying because
of my religious beliefs, not in spite of them. And I know I am far from alone."

George Carey

former Archbishop of Canterbury

in an article in "Isle of Man Today" (Link)

January 2023

"Having some control of the dying process may lift psychological and general health. For many people, having access to medication gives them the option to exercise their autonomy and die on their own terms. Some of those people choose not to have the medicine dispensed and some have the medication and choose not to take it. We know from feedback they do receive comfort from that."

Julian Gardner

Lawyer, Chairperson of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, Victoria, Australia

in an article in "The Age" (Link)

January 2022

"People who are terminally ill should have the option of dignified and compassionate assisted dying, alongside the wonderful palliative care that already exists. I pray that politicians, lawmakers, and religious leaders have the courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth with dignity and love."

Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931 - 2021)

South African Bishop, Human Rights Activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

in a video message alongside his interview with the "Washington Post" (Link)

December 2020

"You know, death is something many of us are uncomfortable
speaking about. But to die is to be human. And anything human
is mentionable. Anything mentionable is manageable."

Tom Hanks

in the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, basing
on the true story of the creator, composer and host of the educational
television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, Fred McFeely Rogers
(20 March 1928 – 27 February 2003), known as “Mister Rogers”

scene from the movie (Link)

documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" about Fred Rogers, trailer (Link)

March 2020

"The prohibition of assisted suicide services violates the general right of
personality in its manifestation as a right to a self-determined death
afforded to persons determined to end their own lives."

The Federal Consttitutional Court of Germany

in its judgment of 26 February 2020 "Criminalisation of assisted suicide services unconstitutional"

Press release by the Court and abstract of the judgment (Link)

December 2017

"I can’t remember the first time I heard the name Dignitas but, like
millions of people, what it represents is now well known to me.
The vast majority of the British public understand the courage of those
seeking a dignified death, and the compassion needed by their loved ones.

Our outdated laws discriminate between rich and poor, discourage proper
conversations between patients and their doctors, criminalise grieving relatives
who spend time with their loved ones in their dying moments and oblige people
to end their lives beforethey are ready. Worst of all, while they are predicated on
preserving the sanctity of life, they show no mercy to those facing an agonising
death, and deny free will to those whose lives and deaths depend upon it.

It’s time that the UK stopped outsourcing its compassion to Switzerland and began
listening to dying people who want and need the most basic choice they will ever face."

Kit Malthouse MP,

Chair, Choice at the End of Life All-Party Parliamentary Group

in: “The True Cost – How the UK outsources death to Dignitas” >> Link / PDF

April 2016

"There is nothing undignified in choosing to allow an illness to run its full course.
What is undignified is denying people suffering intolerably their right to choose otherwise."

Michael Short

Journalist and The Sunday's Age opinion editor

in an interview with his cousin Peter Short >> Link

December 2015

"Of everything that someone can ever experience, nothing is really more overwhelming than the possibility of one’s death. Therefore, for most people, it is natural to try and keep this event out of their minds for as long as possible. Although they know that other will die, they do not want to think that this will happen to them – they are terrified of dying, and refuse to discuss it. Thus, it was intriguing to discover, from a research paper published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review, in April 2012, that “thinking about your mortality could help your marriage because an awareness of death makes people value their relation-ships....researchers found that awareness of death can reduce divorce rates, and suggested that contemplating death could make people more positive, and less aggressive or selfish”. I strongly believe that we must openly accept the fact that eventually we will all die – we must be absolutely realistic about this as it is the collective destiny for all living things on this Earth....Today, people live much longer and most deaths occur away from home. Our minds seem unprepared for what our bodies are doing. Whilst we should not have a morbid preoccupation with death, we should plan ahead, carefully considering, in the hope that we have a choice, how we want to die. Our death is as unique as our life – there is no standard model."

Dr. Michael Irwin

Former Medical Director at the United Nations and
Founder of the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide

in: "Approaching Old-Old", published June 2014

November 2014

"I want to see a world where everyone has access to death with dignity"

Brittany Lauren Maynard
1984 – 2014

In spring 2014, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard learned that she had terminal brain cancer. Brittany advocated for access for death with dignity, which for her meant that when her suffering became too great, she could call everyone she loves to her side as she tells them she loves them and they say goodbye. She was able to realise her self-chosen ending of suffering and life this way on 1 November 2014.

>> read more on the Brittany Maynard Fund website <<


Brittany's video was filmed just weeks before she chose to advance
her time of death, before her suffering became unbearable.

May 2012

“The best thing which eternal law ever ordained was that it allowed us one
entrance into life, but many exits. Must I await the cruelty either of disease or of man,
when I can depart through the midst of torture, and shake off my troubles? . . . Are you
content? Then live! Not content? You may return to where you came from.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(approx. 1 - 65 AC)
Roman philosopher, dramatist and statesman

in: Epistulae morales LXX ad Lucilium (Letters to Lucilius)

April 2012

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every
opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

Bertrand Russell
(1872 - 1970)
British Philosopher and Mathematician

February 2012

"The State may not, consistent with the United States and Georgia Constitutions,
make the public advertisement or offer to assist in a suicide a criminal offense."

Justice Hugh Thompson, writing for the Supreme Court of the US-State of Georgia

Decision of 6 February 2012 of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia (PDF)

For more information, click here to be linked to "Court rulings"

January 2012

"The current legal status of assisted dying is inadequate,
incoherent and should not continue"

The Commission on Assisted Dying

In England, The Commission on Assisted Dying, chaired by Lord Falconer
and launched in November 2010, has published its final report

Website of the Commission on Assisted Dying (Link)

Submission of Dignitas to the Commission (PDF)

Final Report of the Commission on Assisted Dying (Link)


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