When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Israel

Journalist's ‘Swiss Suicide’ Sparks Euthanasia Debate In Israel

With the help of an organization called Dignitas, well-known Israeli television and radio personality Adi Talmor ended his life last week in Switzerland. The euthanasia case came as a huge surprise in Israel, which is now busily examining the issue of ass

Israeli television and radio personality Adi Talmor
Israeli television and radio personality Adi Talmor
Serge Dumont

TEL AVIV- Israel recently lost one if its best-known television presenters, Adi Talmor. His passing has prompted a flurry of discussion -- not just about Talmor's life and legacy, but also about the controversial way he died: euthanasia.

Talmor, 58, ended his life last week in Switzerland with the help of a local organization called Dignitas, an assisted dying group that cooperates with people who like Talmor, suffer from terminal illnesses.

Until his final days, nobody knew where Talmor was. Some of his colleagues speculated that he'd gone into a deep depression. But others thought the media star, who spent the past decade or so working for an army radio station called Galei Tsahal, was having an affair. Talmor had a reputation as something of a ladies man.

The real story, it turned out, was far more tragic. Talmor learned he was suffering from terminal cancer in his right lung. Doctors told him he had no more than a year to live. So Talmor turned to Dignitas, which helped him end his life – far away from friends and family.

News of the journalist's "Swiss suicide" came as a shock to people in Israel, where euthanasia is forbidden both by law and religion. "That's why I decided to commit suicide in Switzerland," he wrote in long letters that are only now going public.

This was the first time most Israelis had heard about Dignitas. The founder of the Swiss organization, Ludwig Minelli, was interviewed by local Israeli newspapers and television stations. He explained his "work techniques' and also revealed that Adi Talmor was accompanied by two people when he passed away and that he had asked for two cigarettes and a last beer before dying. Then, his ashes were spread in an area near Zurich. Neither Talmor's relatives nor his employers knew anything about the procedures.

Since then, popular Israeli dailies such as Israel Hayom, Yediot Aharonotand Maariv have written several features on "Swiss suicide," which is now the subject of a heated national debate.

"So far, the Swiss technique cannot be imported to Israel," Avinoam Rikhles, the ethics committee president for Israel's professional medical association, opined in a recent television debate organized by one of the country's principal networks. He went on to say, however, that "it's better to die peacefully than to die in pain."

Rikhles, a professor at the Hadassah Medical Center and University in Jerusalem, also admitted that several of his patients have gone to Switzerland to die – a decision he "truly understands."

Read the original article in French

Photo - Facebook

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Society

Tales From A Blushing Nation: Exploring India's 'Issues' With Love And Sex

Why is it that this nation of a billion-plus has such problems with intimacy and romance?

Photo of Indian romance statues

Indian romance statues

Sreemanti Sengupta

KOLKATA — To a foreigner, India may seem to be a country obsessed with romance. What with the booming Bollywood film industry which tirelessly churns out tales of love and glory clothed in brilliant dance and action sequences, a history etched with ideal romantics like Laila-Majnu or the fact that the Taj Mahal has immortalised the love between king Shahjahan and queen Mumtaz.

It is difficult to fathom how this country with a billion-plus population routinely gets red in the face at the slightest hint or mention of sex.

It therefore may have come as a shock to many when the ‘couple-friendly’ hospitality brand OYO announced that they are “extremely humbled to share that we observed a record 90.57% increase in Valentine’s Day bookings across India.”

What does that say about India’s romantic culture?

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest