Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Switzerland assisted suicide deaths and Colombia euthanasia deaths increase in 2022.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Michael Cook
I was cleaning up my emails and I noticed two articles by Michael Cook, the editor of Bioedge, that were published by Bioedge on February 14 that I have not shared.

The first article reported that the number of assisted suicide deaths by the Swiss assisted suicide group Exit, increased by 15% in 2022 to 1,125 deaths. Exit is one of the main assisted suicide groups in Switzerland.

The 2022 data indicates that there were 660 women and 465 men who died by assisted suicide. 37% of the people had cancer while 76% of the assisted suicides were done in the person's home and 18.6% of the deaths occured in a nursing or retirement home.

The second article concerned the increase in euthanasia deaths in Colombia. Cook explains that there was a big increase in the number of euthanasia deaths in 2022. Even though he didn't have the complete 2022. Cook reported:

According to the right-to-die group DescLab, in 2015 there were 4 euthanasia deaths; in 2021 there were 95. In the 10 months to October 31, 2022, there were 99.

The increase has been steady: 7 in 2016; 17 in 2017; 24 in 2018; 43 in 2019; 34 in 2020, and 95 in 2021.

According to a DescLab report, between 2015 and October 31, 2022, 322 euthanasia processes have been carried out in Colombia. The last recorded year, 2022, became the period with the most medically assisted deaths. In total, 99 deaths were recorded, while in 2015, when it was regulated, there were four.
Michael Cook reported in April 2021 that the recent Colombian euthanasia bill was defeated, Colombia permits euthanasia based on a 1997 Constitutional Court decision. Cook stated:
Although Colombia is often described as a country where euthanasia is legal, the actual situation is complicated. In 1997 the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that that "the State cannot oppose the decision of an individual who does not wish to continue living and who requests help to die when suffering from a terminal illness that causes unbearable pain, incompatible with his idea of dignity". It directed the legislature to pass a law regulating the right to die.

However, more than 20 years have passed and one bill after another has failed.
Euthanasia is a form of homicide that occurs when a medical professional kills a patient after the patient requested death. Assisted suicide occurs when a medical professional writes a prescription or provides a lethal dose to a patient that they person will self-administer. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are prohibited in most countries in the world.

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