September 26, 2022

First figures on assisted suicide published

Assisted suicide cases in Switzerland have grown steadily over the past decade to almost 300 in 2009, its Federal Statistics Office reported this week.

Assisted suicide cases in Switzerland have grown steadily over the past decade to almost 300 in 2009, its Federal Statistics Office reported this week. The first-ever figures, released on Tuesday, reveal that fewer than 50 people used assisted suicide to end their lives in 1998. Ninety percent were over 50 and suffered from cancer. About 1% involved people under 35 – that is, about 20 deaths over the 12-year period.  No figures are available for the years before 1998.

Assisted suicide was legalised in 1942 under Article 115 of the Swiss penal code – provided a non-physician performs the act with no vested interest. However, assisted suicide organisations only emerged in 1980. Active euthanasia remains illegal.

According to the Statistics Office, international comparisons are difficult because legislation varies greatly among countries.. Exit and Dignitas are the two main organisations which offer assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. ~ Swissinfo.ch, Mar 27; London Telegraph, Mar 27

First figures on assisted suicide published
Jared Yee
assisted suicide
Dignitas
suicide
Switzerland