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Swiss population based study into backgrounds of assisted suicides

A Swiss team of researchers – in the scope of the Swiss National Cohort Study –  lead by Matthias Egger from Bern published in the International Journal of Epidemiology of January 2014 the results of their examination of socio-economic factors associated with assisted suicide. In this study they linked the suicides assisted by right-to-die associations during 2003–08 to a census-based longitudinal study of the Swiss population.

Key conclusions were:

  • Assisted suicide was associated with female gender and indicators of vulnerability such as living alone or being divorced, but also with higher education and higher socio-economic position.
  • Malignancies and nervous system conditions were common underlying causes on death certificates, but in 16% of cases no underlying cause was recorded. In 20 cases a mental disorder was the only underlying cause.

The full article can be read here.

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