In April, Arlund recorded his wife's message which stated that she wanted to die. Subsequently, he granted her wish by giving her a lethal dose of 20 sleeping pills. Last week, Arlund was convicted of assisted suicide and was awarded a 50-day jail sentence. By his own admission, Arlund had no regrets, despite formally having broken the law.
"The Danish society is wrong. It should not force me into feeling guilt-ridden for having to do what I have done," Mogens Arlund told Danish TV-program TV2 Lorry in front of the Court of Elsinore. According to Arlund, it should be society's job to take care of the terminally sick who want to end their suffering. Arlund contended that is was incorrect to not allow people die on their own terms.
The association En Værdig Død ("Dignified Death"), which supports active euthanasia, said Arlund's case highlights the need for a law change.
"This case shows once again that there is a group of people for who palliative care no longer works. They want it to end, as they simply can't take it anymore. These people's voices should be heard," the association's chairman, Flemming Schollaart, told TV2.
However, despite all the media attention to Arlund's case, the outlook for euthanasia supporters is none too bright. According to Gorm Greisen, the chairman of Denmark's Ethical Council, which previously rejected euthanasia on a number of occasions, it is ethically wrong to institutionalize active death-help. A popular acceptance of death-help could go wrong, he said, citing Nazi Germany, where people considered "unworthy of living" were put to death. The Ethical Council has been backed by the government, which is firmly against enabling euthanasia, TV2 reported.
Today, active euthanasia is only legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.