NRL News

Switzerland: assisted suicides jump 34% in 2015

by | Mar 3, 2016

By Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Exit-logoOn Wednesday Swissinfo reported, “Swiss assisted suicide organisation EXIT helped 782 people end their lives in 2015 – 199 more than the previous year.” In 2014 the number was 583.

This 34% increase in assisted suicide deaths in 2015 follows a 27% increase in assisted suicide deaths in 2014, meaning that the number of deaths at the Swiss suicide clinic have increased by more than 60% in two years.

In May, 2014, at their annual general meeting, EXIT decided to extend assisted suicide to healthy elderly people who are living with some form of physical or psychological pain. This decision has led to an increase in deaths.

The article indicated that more women than men are dying by assisted suicide:

Of the deceased, 55% were women and 45% men …

The average age of each person at the time of death was 77.4. The patients lived mainly in the cantons of Zurich, Bern, Aargau, St Gallen, Basel City and Basel Country.

In August 2015 a physically healthy 75-year-old retired British nurse died by assisted suicide in Switzerland.

In February 2014, Oriella Cazzanello, an 85 year-old healthy woman, died at a Swiss suicide clinic. The letter she sent her family stated that she was unhappy about how she looked.

In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland. His autopsy showed that he had been given a wrong diagnosis.

A 2014 Swiss study found that in 16% of the people who died at Swiss suicide clinics had no underlying illness.

In response to the increased assisted suicide deaths at the Swiss suicide clinics, the German Bundestag voted in November 2015 to prohibit the commercialization of assisted suicide.

Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reprinted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide