Suicide Tourism in Switzerland
Suicide in Switzerland is a business. Two organisations offer assisted suicide services, Dignitas and Exit. The newest statistics by the national research institute have been published today.
Assisted suicide in Switzerland is legal. Though there is a voters’ initiative going on to restrict it to local residents or even Swiss nationals, right now 91 per cent of suicide cases recorded for Dignitas are foreigners. Exit administers services to members only; therefore its figures are drastically lower at 3 per cent foreigners.
The statistics also show an increase of suicides of persons that are not terminally ill. Between 1990 and 2000, 22 per cent of the assisted suicides belonged to that group; by 2004 the figure is at 33 per cent. The majority of these people were elderly with rheumatism or pain situations they can’t cope with anymore.
67 per cent of the assisted suicides were women. Scientists cite different theories why this might be so without further evidence.
Suicide organisations refuted the results of this study done by the national research institute Schweizerischer Nationalfonds. They claim that the figures are only representing cases in the region of Zurich. That claim is correct. They also claim that figures are not completely reflecting reality as not all patient data had been accessible to the researchers, thereby showing that they are withholding data from authorities.
Whatever the case, Swiss voters have become fed-up especially with the carry-on of Dignitas and are going for a restriction of access to suicidal help. This would certainly exclude non residents, maybe even making Swiss nationality a prerequisite.
Read more about the business with death in Dignitas: A Swiss Suicide Clinic?.