Man Campaigning for Assisted Euthanasia Commits Suicide

A man suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease whose letter to the National Board of Health and Welfare contributed to last week’s debate about assisted euthanasia has died. According to his brother, the 70-year-old man committed suicide after he failed to receive a response from the Board.

According to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, the man began campaigning to give patients the right to assisted suicide after he received his own diagnosis four years ago. He had always been very clear in his desire to die when he couldn’t take care of himself any longer.

His letter to Board asking for the right to die came after a similar letter sent by a 31-year-old quadriplegic woman aroused heated debate in this Nordic nation.

Assisted suicide has yet to be tried in court in Sweden, but the Board has said it will make a decision on the matter this spring.

Göran Hägglund, Sweden’s Minister for Health and Social Affairs, commented that “every form of active euthanasia is unacceptable,” but he welcomes the Board’s investigation into the issue.

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