NRL News

Swiss assisted suicide deaths continue to increase

by | Feb 29, 2012

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director,
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Jared Yee and published by explains the rapid expansion of assisted suicide by assisted suicide organisations in Switzerland. The article titled: Assisted Suicide booms in Switzerland states that:

“The number of people who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland by assisted-suicide organisations rose significantly in 2011, new figures show. Exit, which assists the suicides of Swiss residents only, announced that it assisted the suicide of 416 people last year up from 348 the previous year. Of those deaths, 305 occurred in the German-speaking region, up from 257 in 2010, and 111 occurred in the French-speaking areas, up from 91 in the previous year. The organisation also saw a boom in new memberships. It now has 75,000. In 2011, Dignitas, Switzerland’s other major assisted-suicide organisation, assisted the suicide of 144 people, a 35% increase as reported by the Sonntag Zeitung.’

Dignitas, which is operated by Ludwig Minelli, assists the suicides of foreigners. Reports of “suicide tourism” have sparked fiery debate both domestically and internationally, increasing pressure on the Swiss government to tighten assisted-suicide laws. Last June it ruled out introducing new legislation to regulate the practice, but the government has since proposed a set of measures to bolster suicide prevention and improve palliative care options. The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that a person has a right to end his or her life provided he or she is of sound mind.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog at

Categories: Assisted Suicide