Her husband abused her and took her kids away. Then she ended her life by assisted suicide.

assisted suicide, Catherine Kassenoff, abuse

UPDATE, 6/12/23: Allan Kassenoff, the man in the center of massive controversy after his wife’s suicide, has resigned from his position as a prestigious attorney with Greenberg Traurig, whose clients include major corporations like Samsung. As more information about the case has surfaced, many are demanding answers for the seeming corruption within the family court system.

The New York Post reported that Marc T. Abrams, the custody evaluator who recommended that Kassenoff receive sole custody of the girls, had a close relationship with Judge Lewis Lubell, who presided over the Kassenoffs’ case. Lubell presided over Abrams’ wedding, which Catherine Kassenoff pointed to as a sign of bias and conflict of interest.

Catherine also sued Carol Most, the attorney for the children, alleging misconduct; she was dismissed from the case as well. But before that, she had been charging the couple hundreds of thousands of dollars for her “services.” Dr. Susan Adler was the therapist appointed to the family; she was eventually sued for malpractice as well. Catherine discovered that Adler was being paid by Allan Kassenoff, and that she had a long-standing relationship with both Most and Abrams.

@therobbieharvey These people helped take Catherine Kassenoff’s children away. #narctok #narcissism #narcissist #abuse #abuseawareness #foryou ♬ original sound – The Robbie Harvey

Robbie Harvey, who has been covering the Kassenoff case, explained that not only did Adler admit that the girls missed their mother and wanted to see her. E-mails acknowledged by the courts also acknowledged that the girls were afraid to tell Allan Kassenoff that they missed their mother or that visits with her went well; the court also acknowledged that he actively prevented them from speaking to her. Despite all of this, Allan Kassenoff was still granted full custody.

6/7/2023: A New York attorney underwent assisted suicide in Switzerland after beating breast cancer multiple times. Catherine Kassenoff said she couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from her children, and a judge had just ruled she could no longer see them.

Kassenoff previously worked as a federal prosecutor, and then as a family court advocate while raising her three children. During her final diagnosis of cancer, she was told her prognosis was terminal. This diagnosis combined with “abuse and terror” from her ex-husband, Allan Kassenoff, led her to pursue assisted suicide.

A compilation of videos from Catherine has since gone viral on TikTok, showing Allan heaping verbal abuse on her as she lay ill in her bed, too weak to get up. Allan can, at one point, be heard calling his wife a “fat old loser that I hate;” throughout the video, his daughters can be heard crying that they were scared, to which he screams at them to shut up.

He even refused to watch their daughters so Catherine could go to a doctor’s appointment.

Warning: The videos below are difficult to watch. 

@therobbieharvey This is Allan Kassenoff. His wife, Catherine Kassenoff, has terminal cancer. But that doesn’t stop Allan and his repeated abuse towards his wife. The result of all this suffering? It’s a heartbreaking one. #abuse #abuseawareness #toxic #toxicrelationship #marriage #married #divorce #foryou ♬ original sound – The Robbie Harvey

The couple eventually became entangled in a custody battle, in which Allan allegedly tried to have Catherine arrested on false charges multiple times, and threatened to strip away her parental rights to see her children. The most recent attempt was in March of 2023 when he claimed he had a restraining order against her and said she was capable of killing her children.

Tragically, Catherine posted a final note on Facebook, along with a Dropbox link containing videos of abuse, files, and other information about her battle with Allan, announcing her decision to take her own life in Switzerland, saying there were no other options left.

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“In the last four years of my life I have woken up every day to a nightmare like no other. I can no longer endure the abuse and terror of Allan Kassenoff, who has spent the last 4 years mercilessly trying to incarcerate me on false charges, as recently as March 2023. I have also endured the emotional devastation of being without my children for so long, homeless from Allan’s repeated ex parte evictions of me from the homes I own and rented, deprivation of my property and obliteration of my life savings, the loss of my two dogs, the loss of my career and reputation, and the concomitant humiliation and ostracism from all this,” she wrote.

@therobbieharvey UPDATE: Allan Kassenoff #narcissist #abuse #abuseawareness #marriage #married #divorce #foryou ♬ original sound – The Robbie Harvey

“Perhaps if I had the physical endurance to keep going, I would. But with a new, terminal health issue that will soon be severely limiting my physical strength as well, and with no protection from our courts, I cannot keep running from Allan. I was recently diagnosed with a virulent and life-ending cancer — after having had breast cancer twice in my life already. I cannot go through debilitating chemo, surgeries and radiation again, this time with a dire prognosis and with Allan fighting me ‘until he dies’ and no court intervention whatsoever.”

She went on to slam the court system for failing to protect her and her daughters, repeatedly reiterating that she had no other option, as Allan would “hunt” her until she was dead, and ultimately, came to believe that her daughters would be better off without her.

“In recent weeks, I came to realize that my presence in their lives only brings them pain and suffering. That is because they must answer to a father who does not view me as human,” she said, adding, “I hope in death I will accomplish what I could not in life. I hope our legislators, judges, media and others will take notice of the price I am paying today, the horrors of family court, and how the court destroys families in order to profit. I hope the public will stand up and say ‘no more.’ Your children deserve better. So did mine.”

@therobbieharvey UPDATE #2 ♬ original sound – The Robbie Harvey

Whatever the reality of Catherine’s story is, it’s clear that she had classic suicidal ideations. Had she gone to a hospital in the United States and outlined this as her reasoning for wanting to die, perhaps she would have been offered support and resources in an effort to convince her that her life was still worth living. But in Switzerland, she was instead given death.

The popular take on assisted suicide is that people choose to die simply because they are dying, and don’t want to experience pain and suffering. Yet the data shows otherwise — that people like Catherine are being killed. Reports have repeatedly found that 90% of people killed through assisted suicide cite “losing autonomy” and being “less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable” as their reasoning for wanting to die.

People like Catherine deserve the chance to continue living, not to have their suicidal ideations both indulged and fulfilled by doctors perverting the Hippocratic oath.

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