UPDATED: Slight increase in assisted suicides in Switzerland in 2020

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UPDATED: Slight increase in assisted suicides in Switzerland in 2020
An assisted suicide clinic, Dignitas, in Pfaeffikon near Zurich. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

There was a slight increase in assisted suicides in Switzerland in 2020.


Switzerland saw an increase of 68 assisted suicides across the country from 2019 to 2020. 

In total, 1,282 people ended their lives using Swiss assisted suicide agency Exit Switzerland in 2020. 

On Friday, the German and Italian-speaking department of assisted suicide body Exit Switzerland released its data from 2020

According to the body - which administers assisted suicide in German and Italian-speaking Switzerland, 913 people chose to end their live with the service in 2020. 

In total, 312 used to the help of Exit in the canton of Zurich, followed by 133 in the cantons of Bern, Aargau (86), St.Gallen (53), Basel-Land (44), Lucerne (43 ) and Thurgau (37).

This is a slight decrease on previous figures, with 862 deaths in the regions in 2019. 

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


In French-speaking Switzerland, 369 people ended their lives in 2020. 


Besides Exit Switzerland, there are a number of other organisations which carry out assisted suicides. 

The main associations are Exit and Dignitas, along with the smaller Ex International and Lifecircle. 

Dignitas is perhaps best known outside Switzerland as while Exit only provides assistance for citizens or long-term residents of Switzerland while Dignitas provides assisted suicide services to foreigners as well.

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


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