Elderly Woman Pays $14,000 to be Euthanized at Swiss Death Facility

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Oriella Cazzanello. Source: Daily News.

I’ve been wondering how much it costs to have someone euthanized. I’ve also been wondering what kind of people perform this “service” of legally murdering others.

I’m still in the dark about the second question, but it appears the answer to the first is $14,000.

That’s what an Italian woman, who, according to reports was in good health, paid a Swiss death facility to put her down in much the same way the Copenhagen Zoo puts down unwanted giraffes. The major difference, so far as I can see, is that they didn’t feed this woman’s body to the lions.

The woman in question, 85-year-old Oriella Cazzanello, hired these fine folks to kill her because she was depressed about aging and upset that she was losing her looks. She vanished from her home in January, evidently without telling her family, who thought she gone on a spa break. When she didn’t show up, her family became worried about her disappearance and started looking.

They learned that Ms Cazzanello had been murdered by lethal injection when the death facility mailed her ashes and the death certificate to her attorney.

It sounds like Ms Cazzanello is another unhappy, well-to-do woman who should have stayed away from Switzerland and its business of dealing death.

My question: Do you really have to be a catechism-following Catholic to see something wrong with this?

From the Daily News:

A perfectly healthy Italian woman paid $14,000 to commit suicide at a Swiss euthanasia clinic because she was “sad about losing her looks.”

Oriella Cazzanello, 85, reportedly took her own life at the right-to-die center in Basel after getting “weighed down by ageing and the inevitable loss of the looks of which she was proud.”

RELATED: NEW MEXICO JUDGE RULES TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS CAN SEEK HELP WITH SUICIDE

The wealthy senior vanished from her home in Arzignano at the end of January, reports the ANSA news agency.

Family members initially thought she’d gone on a spa break.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, but there is a huge amount of controversy over the business.

STEFFEN SCHMIDT/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, but there is a huge amount of controversy over the busines

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/italian-woman-pays-14g-commit-suicide-due-losing-article-1.1622200#ixzz2u4HLdFPa

  • axelbeingcivil

    I’m of two minds about this; on the one hand, I support the systems existing in some countries where a person seeking euthanasia must provide a panel of psychologists and physicians sound reasoning why they should be allowed to end their life. Usually, there is a requirement of a terminal illness or some kind of pain that will be impossible to alleviate, with one case including two brothers who were both deaf and going blind and, hence, incapable of communicating with the world. This seems reasonable, as it prevents people with mental disorders from simply ending their lives when they could be provided with counseling.

    However, for that option to be moral, such counseling HAS to be made readily available to them in a way that does not adversely affect them or their families, especially financially. Otherwise, for the sake of our own squeamishness, we force people to live on in misery when all they seek is to put an end to suffering we refuse to help put a stop to.

    On the other hand, a person’s life is ultimately their own. We can talk about trying to protect the mentally ill but what happens when an otherwise physically and mentally normal person decides that they’ve had enough? Their life might simply have provided them with all they want and they’ve decided to get out before things start to turn for the worse. This is ultimately a choice they might make, and who are we to tell them that they can’t just because they haven’t suffered enough yet?

    This particular woman might have benefited from CBT. She was lonely and sad, and there’s plenty of life changes that might have changed that. At the same time, there’s no indicator she was mentally ill. If this is her choice, isn’t it wrong to deny it to her? Especially if she neither chose to seek the other option, nor had it made available to her?

    • RelapsedCatholic

      Suicide is an option that can rarely be denied to anyone if they are resolved to it. The question is should we let this become an acceptable form of medical treatment. I would say that we would have to redefine the word medicine if we were to do that. Add to it issues like single payer health care (or private insurance) and this is one slippery slope that makes nervous as well. I am all for redfining words (like marriage) if it increases justice and human dignity. I know euthanasia does neither for the non-terminal, I’m really not sure yet if it does so for the non-terminal.

      • axelbeingcivil

        I’m going to assume you meant you’re not sure if it does so for the terminal there. To be honest, I completely disagree in that regard; the power to make that decision for oneself can be a very dignifying thing to the terminally ill. To be able to decide, on your own terms, when and how to end your life instead of suffering a slow breakdown of one’s body and steadily losing one’s ability to say farewell to loved ones as you would like them to remember you, that seems like a choice that anyone should have.

        As for allowing it to become expanded beyond the terminally ill, I’m not sure either that one can say that it doesn’t expand justice or human dignity there, either. I’ve already lain out the reasons why I feel that would be above, though.

  • RelapsedCatholic

    This woman needed a psychologist, a priest, & her family. Not a doctor that has forgotten his/ her oath. I can accept an argument of euthanasia for the immediately terminally ill – even if I disagree w/ it. But for a physically healthy yet depressed person? No. She needed help, compassion, & care. We agree here Ms. Hamilton.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      No. What she needed is a hatchet to her vanity and pride. Everything else would only have reinforced her vanity and cowardice.

  • AnneG

    Life is not ours to give or take. This is wrong and evil disguised as being sympathetic. That is a moral judgment. Somebody said sentimentality leads to fascism. I think that’s what this is.

    • Bill S

      From a comment above:

      Their life might simply have provided them with all they want and they’ve decided to get out before things start to turn for the worse.

      I see that as a reasonable desire and I have no problem with a country that sees a demand for the type of assistance provided in Switzerland. I think that eventually every country will follow Switzerland’s model.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        You have no idea how contemptible that sounds. It is the voice of the spoilt, the people who always had it easy, the people who regard a happy life as their right. I have trouble keeping my language fit for this place.

        • Bill S

          Fabio,

          There’s nothing wrong with being fortunate enough to have lived a happy life. And you don’t have to be rich to do it. Are people who value happiness making this a worse world for you? Why is it so wrong for this woman to take the steps necessary to avoid the unhappiness that she foresaw? If she doesn’t want that for herself, it’s her call. No?

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            No, they are making it worse for themselves. And if you lived in real life, you would be able to assess it by looking at which one is in the biggest hurry to leave this world. The spoilt, self-centred brat who has not even reachead up as far as being an atheist, because he never gave God a thought, and whose only thoughts are wealth and pleasure: he is the one (she, according to this article) who will pay someone money to kill them, even though the sun goes on rising and setting and the birds are still singing in the tree; we, who love God, also love the world He has made. Love can hurt – that is one thing everyone knows about love; but love will not let go of what it loves.

            “A Second Childhood.”

            When all my days are ending
            And I have no song to sing,
            I think that I shall not be too old
            To stare at everything;
            As I stared once at a nursery door
            Or a tall tree and a swing.

            Wherein God’s ponderous mercy hangs
            On all my sins and me,
            Because He does not take away
            The terror from the tree
            And stones still shine along the road
            That are and cannot be.

            Men grow too old for love, my love,
            Men grow too old for wine,
            But I shall not grow too old to see
            Unearthly daylight shine,
            Changing my chamber’s dust to snow
            Till I doubt if it be mine.

            Behold, the crowning mercies melt,
            The first surprises stay;
            And in my dross is dropped a gift
            For which I dare not pray:
            That a man grow used to grief and joy
            But not to night and day.

            Men grow too old for love, my love,
            Men grow too old for lies;
            But I shall not grow too old to see
            Enormous night arise,
            A cloud that is larger than the world
            And a monster made of eyes.

            Nor am I worthy to unloose
            The latchet of my shoe;
            Or shake the dust from off my feet
            Or the staff that bears me through
            On ground that is too good to last,
            Too solid to be true.

            Men grow too old to woo, my love,
            Men grow too old to wed;
            But I shall not grow too old to see
            Hung crazily overhead
            Incredible rafters when I wake
            And I find that I am not dead.

            A thrill of thunder in my hair:
            Though blackening clouds be plain,
            Still I am stung and startled
            By the first drop of the rain:
            Romance and pride and passion pass
            And these are what remain.

            Strange crawling carpets of the grass,
            Wide windows of the sky;
            So in this perilous grace of God
            With all my sins go I:
            And things grow new though I grow old,
            Though I grow old and die.”
            ― G.K. Chesterton, The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton

  • pagansister

    If a person wants to end their life, they will find a way to do so. The fact that some of these folks don’t have an illness that is causing them unrelenting pain and will end their life early while making it horrible in the process etc. does make one wonder what other reason there could be. . No one will really know why this woman at 85 decided that was enough living. I feel for her family, but she seems to have succeeded in doing what she wanted to do—stop living. Who really knows whether she was mentally ill or not? She obviously had the money to do so. A couple of years ago the mother of a friend of mine just decided she had lived long enough—she was 97. She was living with one of my friend’s siblings, and was still relatively active—helped around the house etc. She had fallen a couple of times but hadn’t broken anything. One day she told her family she was ready to die, laid in her bed, and proceeded to do so over a short period of time. Not sure how long it took but she refused food etc. Her family was there when she died and she had already made plans to have her body given to a university for use as they saw fit and when that was done, her ashes were sent back to the family. It seems that a person can just know when it is time to leave this earthly realm. Seems like the Swiss have found a need for a facility to help folks die and have built a place where that can be carried out. If there was no need, perhaps facilities there wouldn’t exist.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      If a person wants to end there life it’s one thing for them to do so. It’s nother when you sanction medical professionals to kill someone. This is a perversion of medicine. If I wanted to end my life and I went up to a professional hit man and toidim to put a bullet in my head, would he still hve to face murder charges?

      • pagansister

        As I mentioned in my last sentence above—if there was no need, then this type of facility, probably wouldn’t exist. Appears there is a need. And if you went to a professional hit man and told him to put a bullet in your head, I expect he would be facing murder charges. He would have to prove YOU wanted him/her to do so. Here in this country all states do not allow a person to be euthanized. Need creates services, rightly or wrongly.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          Well, ok. We have a need for child labor, but we have laws against it.

          • pagansister

            Not the same thing at all, that i can see, Manny. I was specifically talking about this subject.

            • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

              All i’m saying is that we outlaw things that are immoral, whether there is a need or not.

              • pagansister

                Understand.

                • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

                  Peace. :)

  • oregon nurse

    Gives a possible new meaning to the word spa. But for $14k my guess is a spa-like experience is exactly how it is presented to the ‘consumer’. They probably have glossy full color marketing material too. Soylent Green was very prescient.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    How sick. How can any ethical medical professional kill a person who is in good health? I can’t believe this is what euthanisia was even meant for. This was flat out murder.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Well, you see, the Swiss despise us Italians, but love our money. This is the perfect business deal for them. (For the record, I am racist towards two nations, the Swiss and the Dutch. There are others I am not fond of, but the Swiss and the Dutch seem to me to exist for money and to have never considered human life except a minor appendage.)

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I didn’t know the Swiss hated the italians. My parents have cousins who went on to live in Switzerland. I’ve never met them. I can’t speak for the Swiss, but there is something about the Dutch that irks me.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          NOt hate – despise. We are a lesser breed.

  • EMS

    I know this will sound judgemental – but what incredibly selfish woman this was. Her family is going through hell, probably for the rest of their lives, wondering what they did wrong, what did they miss, what should they have seen. Apparently, she, completely out of the blue, decided to die without considering the consequences and the pain she was causing to others who loved her. I, many years ago to my astonishment and fear, seriously thought about killing myself. Much, much prayer and the realization that I would cause ireparable harm to those who loved me kept me alive. Sad to say, I suspect that this will happen more and more. BTW, the cynic in me wonders what could that “clinic” provide that would possibly cost $14,000? An air bubble injected into an artery would kill a person in seconds.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Amen. And as for cheap and safe ways to kill, the bullet to the back of the head and the blade across the wrist can never be beaten. As I said elsewhere, there must be a lot of professional hit men in the underworld who must be foaming at the mouth at the thought of fourteen thousand dollars going to execute an elderly and unresisting target.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    My wife’s grandmother resembles this remark. But since she hasn’t been given six months to live, and her only problems are age related degeneration instead of cancer, she doesn’t fall under Oregon’s euthanasia laws. I have no doubt that when given the out, she’ll take it. And no amount of arguing from me is going to stop it.

  • ponerology

    It appears humility before God (and family) is to be avoided. God will not give more than can be endured. He doesn’t abandon His creatures. They abandon Him.


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