For a tidy sum of $5,000 Dr. Stuart Weisberg, a 37-year-old psychiatrist, will help the terminally ill kill themselves. Despite the long, intense and emotional battle over assisted suicide, ABCnews.com reporter Susan Donaldson James' main concern is that Weisburg's business is tacky.
In a June 24 article, Donaldson James reported on “Dignity House,” a direct result of <?xml:namespace prefix = u1 />
The video attached to the article headline read, “A Portland psychiatrist is looking to give terminally-ill people a place to die.”
"A patient would check in at 3 p.m.," Wiesberg told ABC's affiliate KATU. "We have music, flowers, catering. They can bring as many family members as they wish, their pets, their attorney,” Wiesberg told ABC. (For an additional $1,200 patients can receive three hours of psychiatric help from Weisberg and his therapy dog.)
“It's not clear how profitable – or tasteful – this business might be,” wrote Donaldson James. Then she turned to a critic – not of assisted suicide, but of Dignity House specifically.
"It's the commercialization of death with dignity," said George Eighmey, who helped pass
According to Eighmey, euthanasia isn't the problem, it's choosing to be euthanized with catering. Readers had to look to the very end of the piece to find any acknowledgement that the act itself is problematic.
“Critics of the law said it would lead to a “slippery slope” and already out-of- state patients are easily establishing residence in
“The solution to suffering is never to kill the sufferer,” said Toffler. “The compassionate thing to do is alleviate suffering, but not by encouraging or seducing them to take an overdose. “