Studio 54 owner Mark Fleischman announces assisted suicide plans
Studio 54 club owner Mark Fleischman announced his intention to assist in the legal suicide on July 13. He is 82 years old.
Mark Fleischman, the owner of the latest nightclub incarnation of the famed Studio 54, is considered a king of ’80s nightlife. Fleischman has chatted with Keith Richards, Rick James, John Belushi, Robin Williams and Cher.
July 13, with the assistance of the Swiss association Dignitas, Fleischman will legally commit suicide. Assisted suicide is illegal in California, where Fleischman lives, and all ten states where it is legal require you to be a resident. Instead, Fleischman will travel to Zurich.
“I can’t walk, my speech is screwed up and I can’t do anything for myself” said Fleischman, who uses a wheelchair. “My wife helps me into bed and I can’t get dressed or put on my shoes. I take a soft exit. This is the easiest solution for me. »
Fleischman says neurologists were unable to diagnose the source of his problems, which began in 2016 when his leg began to drag.
“It’s worse than not being able to walk,” says Mark’s wife of 27 years, Mimi Fleischman. “Mark has no balance. He drops things and doesn’t know where his body is in space. She says doctors first thought he had a form of Parkinson’s disease, but that turned out to be wrong. “Nobody knows what he has.”
Mark Fleischman’s plan for assisted suicide did not come suddenly or lightly. “I made my decision slowly,” he says. “Two years ago, I decided it wasn’t worth living. I took a lot of Xanax and ended up in the hospital.
Soon after, he says, he began to research how to end his life. Mimi tried to talk him out of the decision but came to respect his wishes.
“My wife intervened. We started looking for a place where it would be legal to find someone to do it with,” says Mark.
“It’s going to be horrible,” admits Mimi. “He’s my partner and we’re dedicated to each other. So it’s the end of a part of me too. I have to honor what he wants. She adds, “He wants to end its days and it’s a dignified way to do it.”
Launched in 1998, Dignitas is dedicated to helping people in poor health who want to commit suicide. Fleischman says members of the organization reviewed his medical records and engaged in a series of conversations with him.
“They want to be sure that I make the decision myself,” he says. “After they read my material they asked me a few questions to make sure I was serious. I had to provide a notarized affidavit that I want to die. I had to see a psychiatrist and he told me confirmed that I was sane.
Dignitas will provide Fleischman with drugs to end his life and a place to consume them. He says afterwards they will cremate his body and send the ashes to his address in California. “The whole thing costs about $15,000,” he says, explaining that he and his wife will fly to Zurich in business class on July 8.
“We’re staying in a beautiful place, a lakeside resort,” Fleischman says, adding that he doesn’t have a “last meal” planned or a specific itinerary. “Given that I’ve never been to Zürich, maybe we’ll see a bit. Then, on Wednesday, I find myself in Dignitas’ apartment. I have a drink, I fall asleep and that’s it.
When asked why he decided to go public with his decision, Fleischman said, “At 82, I decided, why keep it a secret? I lived on my own terms. I’m not afraid of anything. Not even death. I can’t wait. I don’t believe in the afterlife. But I want to know what happens when I die. I’m curious. If I come back like something else, I think it will be a wolf or a polar bear, an animal that has a good life.
Fleischman initially said he planned to play it close to the vest. “I was going to go to Zurich and ‘have a stroke’ while on vacation. I think people are ashamed (of assisted suicide). But there’s no shame in what I do. That’s okay and reasonable at my age. I’ve done everything and been everywhere and met everyone I want to meet.
He admits that the wild life he led may very well have contributed to his current state. “If I hadn’t lived like I did and hadn’t had so much fun, maybe it would be different,” he says. “I don’t regret any part of my life.”