In issue no. 24 of the Swiss doctors’ bulletin for the month of June, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences presented its first publication on the subject of “Treatment and care of the elderly and dependent” to be consulted by the medical profession. We found several of the points raised in this eleven page document particularly worthy of note.
Chapter 2, regarding the “decision-making process”, acknowledges the initial directives and recommends appointing a trusted person as a therapeutic representative.
In chapter 3, concerning “medical treatment and care”, reference is made to a request for suicide assistance. The subject is subsequently developed in more detail in the recommendations for institutions providing long-term care. Finally, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences acknowledges that requests for suicide assistance exist, and accepts the notion of help being obtained from outside the institutions in question to put such requests into practice. These draft directives are worth underlining because they will entail significant changes to current practices.
The month of June is the bearer of another piece of good news in the form of the motion brought before the National Council on 19th June by Mrs Anne-Catherine Menétrey-Savary (Eco-VD) further to the work of the group “à propos”. The motion calls for teaching on the problem of suicide assistance to be introduced as part of the study programme at medical school. The subject could be included in a thanatology course or broached during training in medical psychology.
The motion was co-signed by twenty national councillors, and we are eagerly awaiting the response from the Federal Council.
Dr Jérôme Sobel, President EXIT ADMD Suisse romande