2 Sisters Secretly Travel to Switzerland to Die by Assisted Suicide, Brother Is Devastated
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).
Two sisters from Arizona described by their brother as “healthy and happy” died by assisted suicide at a clinic in Switzerland last month, authorities said, according to published news reports.
Lila Ammouri 54, was a palliative care doctor, and Susan Frazier, 49, was a registered nurse. Their brother, Cal Ammouri, 60, was devastated when he learned the news, The Independent reported.
Ammouri said the last time he had spoken to his sisters was a few weeks before they traveled to Switzerland. During that time, he said, they never gave him any indication that they were suffering from any illness that would have prompted them to take their lives, Toronto Sun reported.
Colleagues and friends grew concerned when the women did not show up for work at Aetna Health Insurance only on Feb. 15, the news outlet reported.
Dr. David Bilgari, a longtime friend of the sisters said that no one had heard from them since Feb. 9, and alleged that some of their final texts seemed to have been sent by someone else, Fox10 Phoenix reported.
“Some of the text communications they had, we are certain they were not from them,” Biglari said. “They were most likely fabricated with someone else.”
Friends of the sisters reached out to the embassy and local and international authorities. At the same time, Biglari expressed suspicions of foul play and claimed that the authorities are “not really taking it very seriously,” Fox10 Phoenix reported.
Ammouri and Frazier's deaths were later confirmed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State, the news outlet reported.
"We can confirm the death of two U.S. citizens in Switzerland. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time," Jill Barwig of the Bureau of Consular Affairs wrote, in a statement, according to Fox10 Phoenix.
Michael Lutz, a spokesman for the Basel-Landschaft Public Prosecutor’s Office said that assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland “under certain circumstances,” The Independent reported.
Lutz confirmed to the news outlet that both sisters had died by suicide “within the legal framework.”
“In the specific case, the on-site checks by the authorities revealed that the assisted suicide took place within the legal framework so that the Basel-Landschaft public prosecutor’s office did not open a criminal investigation,” the spokesman said.
Cal Ammouri, who lives in New York, said that his sisters were extremely close. He said that they were also his only living relatives.
“They were really special. They never hurt anybody. They were always helping everybody. They would go out of their way to help people, which is rare,” he said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741, the Crisis Text Line.
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