Swissinfo.ch: At the end of December 2017, EXIT DS had 110,391 members in German-speaking Switzerland and in Ticino : some 10,078 new members joined the euthanasia organisation.
Last year, 734 people ended their lives using Exit’s services, compared with 723 the previous year. The number of requests from people thinking about assisted suicide was about 3,500 – that’s 1,000 more than in 2014. Exit considered 1,031 of those requests, compared with 991 in 2016.
Possible reasons for this consistently high demand for assisted suicide include the steady surge in membership year-on-year, but also an increasingly aging society. Last year, the average age of a person using Exit’s services increased to 78.1 years, from 76.7 years in 2016. As in previous years, the most common conditions for which people sought the help of Exit were terminal cancer, age-related multiple illnesses as well as chronic pain.
Despite the recent expansion of palliative care, for which Exit has campaigned for 27 years, euthanasia fulfils a need among the population, the association said. Assisted suicides remain rare, however, accounting only for about 1.5% of all 66,000 deaths in Switzerland each year, according to Exit.