Friday, August 29, 2014

Reports of assisted suicide in Switzerland are 'highly exaggerated.'

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Recent media reports have exaggerating the number of assisted suicide deaths in Switzerland, according to a report published by Swiss Info media. The article points out that the number of people dying by assisted suicide in Switzerland is relatively exaggerated.

The article explains that a relatively small number of Swiss citizens are dying by assisted suicide and very few people who are properly cared for by palliative care die by assisted suicide. The article states:

“Assisted suicide remains a minority choice,” Andreas Weber, a palliative care specialist at the Wetzikon Hospital near Zurich, told swissinfo.ch. 
“For a large majority, it is never an option in the first place, and for most of the people who consider it when they first face their diagnosis, it is off the cards once we reduce their concerns and explain what we can do.” 
Another specialist, Maria Walshe, shares Weber’s view. “I’m only aware of a couple of isolated cases where our patients made use of that option,” Walshe said. “At the Centre for Palliative Care at the Winterthur Cantonal Hospital our job is never to shorten a life, but primarily to ease the symptoms. We talk to the patients, consult their wishes and define their needs without any prejudice.” 
The only cases in which experts know patients will see it through are what they describe as “rational suicide”. Those are intellectuals who have already made up their minds in advance. They have settled their affairs, they are a member of Exit, and are ready to die. It is virtually impossible to change their minds, Weber explained.
In a recent article I explain that people who were are not sick, have died by assisted suicide in Switzerland. In fact, one study showed that 16% were not dying and a larger study showed that 25% of the people who died by assisted suicide were not dying.

The fact that some people have already "made up their minds" means that assisted suicide is the option of the few privileged persons. Giving doctors the right in law to cause your death will result in some abuse. 

Legalizing assisted suicide is not necessary considering the fact that the privileged few who demand assisted suicide can also be properly cared-for rather than killed.

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