Record numbers sign up for Swiss right-to-die group
A Swiss organization called Exit, which helps people take their own lives, reported a 20 percent surge in people seeking membership last year.
The group, which provides lethal drugs to help the terminally ill die, said its membership rose to 81,015 people in the German and Italian-speaking part of Switzerland in 2014. Exit helped 583 people to die last year.
Assisted suicide is permitted in Switzerland if it is aided by a person with no direct interest in the death. It is illegal, however, for someone to actually deliver a lethal dose, as opposed to simply making the drugs available to a person who wants to die.
Exit officials said the increase was due to an aging population, a rise in the number of people living with dementia, and a greater number of people wanting to determine the course of their lives.
In France, the parliament is debating a bill that would allow doctors to put terminally ill patients into a “deep sedation” until they died.