Portland doctor plans house where terminally ill can kill themselves
A Northwest Portland psychiatrist who the state has reprimanded for wrongly prescribing drugs says he plans to open a facility in the city and charge fees to help patients end their lives under
Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.Stuart G. Weisberg has mailed invitations to local doctors and politicians inviting them to a July 21 “presentation” at the deluxe El Gaucho restaurant in downtown to unveil his new business, End of Life Consultants LLC. Weisberg did not return calls Wednesday seeking more information on his venture, which apparently would be the first of its kind in the nation. Weisberg filed incorporation papers with the state June 2.
In the invitation to the July 21 dinner at El Gaucho, Weisberg said he has invited Jack Kervorkian, the Michigan pathologist who provided the drugs and the means for terminally ill people to kill themselves and served a prison sentence for his actions.
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“Never heard of him,” said George Eighmey, executive director of Compassion & Choices of Oregon, which assists more than 90 percent of Oregonians who die under the law. Eighmey said the only place akin to what Weisberg proposes is Dignitas in Switzerland. And Eighmey said he does not believe Weisberg’s services would be necessary anyway.
“Ninety-eight percent of the people who receive the medicine under the Death With Dignity Act take the medicine at home,” he said. “It’s going to be highly unlikely that people are going to use his service. And we don’t charge. He charges $5,000.”
The website lists a host of fees, including a mandatory $600 for the stay at Dignity House and a mandatory $600 for “End of Life Camera,” which will record the patient’s last hours.
Optional fees include $400 for End of Life Catering, $400 for End of Life Security – a consultation with a “certified security agent” – $400 for linens and flowers from Weisberg’s home garden and $400 for End of Life Music, which promises two 100-minute sets of piano music that “will be magical.”
Just when you think things can’t get any sicker.