Betty and George Coumbias
Betty and George Coumbias were a Canadian married couple who sought to become the first husband and wife to complete simultaneous suicides with legal authorization. They were featured in John Zaritsky's 2007 documentary, The Suicide Tourist. Although assisted suicide is illegal in Canada, they hoped to end their lives with the approval of the government of Switzerland.
The couple's request was unusual in that, while George Coumbias suffers from heart disease, Betty Coumbias was reported to be in excellent health.
Ludwig Minelli, director of Swiss assisted-suicide group Dignitas, petitioned the Canton of Zurich to grant doctors the authority to issue lethal drugs to healthy people, after they have been counseled by his organization, hoping to facilitate the Coumbias' suicide pact.
In 2009, Betty Coumbias developed cancer and died, while George continues to live with his heart condition.
- Healthy Vancouver woman wants to die beside her ailing husband, April 14, 2009
- 'Suicide Tourists' Seek Place to Die December 5, 2007.
- Deaths reignite assisted-suicide debate July 16, 2009