A new clinic in the heart of Geneva is offering suicidal patients the chance to end it all in style with its range of dramatic role-play curtain-calls. An offshoot of the famous Swiss euthanasia clinic, Indignitas has developed a range of deals for those who don’t want to slip away quietly, including re-enactments of celebrity deaths and summary executions after a staged miscarriage of justice for those who feel life has dealt them a bad hand.
‘Many people don’t want to go without a fuss,’ said Karl-Heinz Struther, director of Indignitas. ‘Some want to make a point, while others simply want a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience. With a life-exit package for every taste, ambition and demographic, we’ve had no dissatisfied customers yet.’
Men from all over Europe are flocking to the clinic for the chance to take their mid-life crisis to its logical conclusion with the ‘Jim Morrison’ deal, a Paris-based weekend break that includes drugs, alcohol and sex followed by drowning in a bath. An adventurous few have instead opted for the ‘Stranglewank’, the auto-erotic practice popularised by former INXS singer Michael Hutchence and film star David Carradine.
Oppressed women, meanwhile, are queuing up for the ‘Sylvia Plath’, a moving farewell involving a dingy room, a gas oven and the posthumous demonisation of a person of their choice. And car enthusiasts have been honking their horns in delight at the ‘James Dean’, a splendid one-off opportunity to drive a classic Porsche head-on into a truck in a reconstruction of Hollywood’s notoriously dangerous Mulholland Drive.
Among failed bankers the ‘Wall Street Plunge’ has proved very popular. The brochure describes it as ‘a full gravity descent down the outside of the Swiss Re tower in the heart of Geneva’s bustling financial district, followed by a champagne reception at the bottom’. Wealthier clients have opted for deals from the à la carte Indignitas Premium range, including the ‘JFK’, in which half the fun is not knowing whether the fatal shot came from the lone gunman in the book depository or the CIA agent on the grassy knoll, and the ‘Princess Diana’, in which a beered-up chauffeur will quickly show you the sights of Paris before suddenly inviting you to join him up front.
But despite the booming business, it isn’t all proving to be plain sailing for Indignitas. An investigation is under way into the passing of a man who had apparently planned to die spectacularly in front of thousands during a gruelling series of shows at the London O2. ‘Unfortunately he didn’t make it that far,’ said Herr Struther. ‘We think he may have been accidentally dispatched by the doctor sent to help Farrah Fawcett on her way.’