Assisted suicides on the rise in Switzerland

Assisted suicides on the rise in Switzerland
Photo by Daan Stevens from Pexels
Year on year figures show a slight increase in euthanasia procedures in 2019, with over 1,450 people choosing to end their lives over the calendar year.

Exit Switzerland this week released its figures for 2019, with a total of 1,214 people took their own life with the help of the organisation, eight more than in 2018. 

When accompanied by the 256 individuals who went through the euthanasia process with the other major Swiss assisted suicide organisation, Dignitas, a total of 1,470 people were put to death by the two organisations in 2019. 

All together, 1,428 people underwent the procedure in 2018 – an increase of three percent. 

Exit Switzerland

There were 862 deaths in German-speaking Switzerland – representing a decrease of five percent – while 352 people died in French-speaking Switzerland (a 17 percent increase). 

READ: What you need to know about assisted suicide in Switzerland 

Assisted suicide in the country is carried out by Exit Switzerland. Anyone who wants to use their services must be a member for a minimum of three years. 

READ: Assisted suicide: Wait list for new members of Switzerland's Exit

Unlike Exit Switzerland, who only provide services to Swiss citizens and long-term residents, Dignitas also carry out assisted suicide procedures on foreigners. 

Switzerland has been criticised for allowing foreigners to access euthanasia, saying that it leads to the phenomenon of ‘suicide tourism’. 

Support for the procedure appears to be growing however, with the peak German court on Wednesday saying that a ban on the procedure was unconstitutional. 

READ: German court scraps ban on assisted suicide

 

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