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Swiss Senate decides to put forward proposal for new euthanasia law

Following the publication in June of a report by the University of Zurich, the Swiss Senate has decided to put forward a new proposal for a law on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The University of Zurich’s new report, which forms part of the European Commission-sponsored study of end-of-life decision making in six European countries (see above), examined 3,350 deaths in German-speaking Switzerland and found that half were preceded by an end-of-life decision. Compared with its European neighbours, Switzerland was also found to have the highest number of cases of assisted suicide.

The Swiss Minister of Justice has announced that a commission will be established to prepare further debates on the issue of active euthanasia, and to find ways to improve control of Right to Die Societies. The commission will also examine the issue of “death” or “suicide tourism, in the light of the attention Dignitas’ work has attracted.

At present there is no time scale for when the commission will prepare any debates or reports. As an organisation with 50,000 members EXIT hope they will be consulted in the course of the commission’s work.