Swiss Assisted Suicide Deaths Increase in 2011

According to Jared Yee, in an article published by Mercatornet.com, there has been a rapid rise in assisted suicide deaths in Switzerland in 2011 facilitated by the Swiss assisted suicide groups Dignitas and Exit.

“The number of people who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland by assisted-suicide organisations rose significantly in 2011, new figures show. Exit, which assists the suicides of Swiss residents only, announced that it assisted the suicide of 416 people last year up from 348 the previous year. Of those deaths, 305 occurred in the German-speaking region, up from 257 in 2010, and 111 occurred in the French-speaking areas, up from 91 in the previous year. The organisation also saw a boom in new memberships. It now has 75,000. In 2011, Dignitas, Switzerland’s other major assisted-suicide organisation, assisted the suicide of 144 people, a 35% increase as reported by the Sonntag Zeitung.”

Dignitas specializes in assisting the deaths of people who travel from other countries, a practice fondly called “suicide tourism.” Because many of those assisted come from the UK, “suicide tourism” has sparked intense debate in England about legalizing in that country so people do not have to travel to Switzerland. “Suicide tourism” has also generated significant debate within Switzerland and in other parts of Europe.

Barbara Lyons

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