Swiss man to travel to England to end life in NHS hospital



A Swiss man paralysed five years ago in a skiing accident has chosen to end his life early in the UK after shunning the local suicide clinic a few minutes drive from his home. ‘I want to end my life,’ said Max Friedland today, ‘but I don’t want to actually commit suicide. Which is why I have chosen a routine minor operation in an NHS hospital.’

Friedland, has an appointment in February at a London hospital for the removal of a benign mole on his back. ‘I am hoping that this short overnight stay coupled with the surgery will be enough for me to contract one of the many viruses present in NHS hospitals, C Diff, Norovirus, MRSA, I don’t mind as long as death is quick and relatively pain free.’

Asked whether he approved of the plan, health secretary Alan Johnson said, ‘To be able to welcome people from abroad who have specifically chosen the NHS for their procedures just shows how far we have come in recent years. It’s nice to see someone making a positive choice to use the NHS for once.’

Mr Friedland’s family are supporting his decision to end his life by staying in an English hospital; ‘It would be easy for him to make the short journey to Dignitas and to drink a lethal cocktail of chemicals, but he wants to end his life ended without intervention.’ said his wife, ‘We understand that if the superbug viruses don’t get him, then it is highly likely that some poor exhausted doctor will deliver a fatal incorrect dose of medicine to him, which is a nice safety net to have.’

Mr Friedland had originally been planning to end his life next summer but asked for his suicidal visit to England could be brought forward. ‘I was getting fed up with all those calls from Radio 4’s ‘The Moral Maze’. If anything made me want to end my life more quickly it was the prospect of talking to Michael Buerk about complex ethical dilemmas of our time.’


5th January 2009

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