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Switzerland won't tighten assisted suicide rules

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11:06 CEST+02:00
Proposals to tighten rules on assisted suicide in Switzerland - including a possible ban on suicide tourism - have been defeated by the country's lawmakers.

Switzerland's parliament, the National Council, voted overwhelmingly against tougher rules by 163 votes against 11.

Christian Democrat Ida Glanzmann-Hunkeler, who voted in favour of Wednesday's bid, said that Exit and Dignitas, the two organizations that assist suicide in Switzerland, should be better regulated. "These organisations work as companies, run advertisements for members and want payment for their work," she said.

However, Justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga, said the phenomenon is in decline and reform is therefore unnecessary. She said the number of foreigners travelling to Switzerland to die has declined in recent years, from 199 in 2006 to 97 in 2010, reported Le Matin. Most come from Germany, France and Britain.

In a referendum last May Zurich citizens rejected bans on assisted suicide and suicide tourism. 85 percent of the 278,000 votes cast opposed a ban on assisted suicide and 78 percent opposed outlawing it for foreigners.

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