Reprinted with permission from William Newton's Blog of the Courtier:
I previously wrote about the so-called Schwerzenbach Clinic run by the euthanasia group Dignitas and their horrific practices. Today it has been reported that prestigious conductor Sir Edward Downes, who worked with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Sydney Opera House among other classical music institutions, was killed by Dignitas at this clinic, along with his wife Joan. News reports indicate that Sir Edward, who was 85 years old, was nearly blind and losing his hearing while his wife was 74 years old and suffering from cancer. Their family, in a statement released to the press, appear to accept the decision of the couple to have themselves killed. London's Metropolitan Police are investigating the deaths, but British law does not, apparently, allow them to do much about the situation.
This is yet another sad example of the neo-pagan culture of death in which we have found ourselves. Two intelligent, accomplished people, who are suffering to some degree, decide to take a road to destruction with the help of those who are all too willing to oblige, for a fee. Today, the actions of groups like Dignitas are increasingly treated, not as the crime which they are, but rather a statement about personal choice and preference to the point of absurdity, as if one were selecting between different types of melon at the supermarket.
The creep of nihilism and selfishness into our culture continues unabated, and to what logical end no one can authoritatively say. As the Church teaches, those who decide to commit suicide, assisted or not, are very often so emotionally distressed that we must rely on God's mercy with respect to the fate of their immortal souls. However, this does not mean that we should sit back and allow a group such as Dignitas, which makes a mockery of the very concept of dignity, to run unchecked. I hope that parliamentarians in Britain finally take a serious look at redrafting the applicable laws of their country so that something can be done to go after this heinous organization.