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Legal situation

In short

In Switzerland, euthanasia is forbidden by law. This prohibition is based on the Christian values and traditions of the country. At the same time, assisted suicide (as such) is not forbidden. This is based on the liberal values and traditions of the country. Only when a person has selfish reasons to assist a person, the assistant can be punished.

In Switzerland it is also possible to avoid treatment and to receive palliative care, including palliative sedation till the moment of dying. 


Penal Code

Article 114 of the Swiss Penal Code prohibits euthanasia.

Article 115 of the Swiss Penal Code determines that when a person has selfish reasons to assist a person, this person can be punished for assisted suicide: A person who, from selfish motives, helps or seduces a person to commit suicide, can, when the suicide succeeds, be punished with five years imprisonment or a money penalty. 

Help to foreigners  

Switzerland is known for its possibilities to help foreigers. DIGNITAS – To live with Dignity – To die with Dignity is an important organisation to realise this aid in dying in practice. 

Although the law does not require the intervention of a doctor in order to be legally allowed to assist in dying, in most cases a physician plays a role in prescribing the medication. Read the brochure of Dignitas to see the role of the doctor in their procedure: Brochure “How DIGNITAS works”

If you are considering a Swiss voluntary assisted dying clinic for yourself or a loved one, you should definitely watch the video interview with Christie Golemb, who has recorded a personal account of  her mother’s death at Pegasos.

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