Assisted suicide is still increasing in Switzerland. The NZZ am Sonntag, a weekly Zurich publication, confirmed that, in 2015, “the three major assisted suicide organisations helped 999 residents to end their lives”, adding that the number of cases “has virtually quadrupled since 2008”.
The weekly publication interviewed theologists and scientists in an attempt to explain the increase in the practice of assisted suicide. Highlighting a “change in values”, the publication pointed out that the “ageing baby-boomer generation wants to live independently until the end”.
Consequently, more and more people who are not terminally ill still want to be able to decide when they die: “One-third of assisted suicide cases in Switzerland today concern persons suffering from several diseases or at the start of senile dementia, who refuse to witness the gradual deterioration in their condition”. In addition, there are people “who are tired of living and who can no longer support age-related disabilities”.
In 2011, the Swiss Federal Council refused to provide an assisted suicide framework. As far as NZZ is concerned, it is unlikely that the Federal Council will deal quickly with the problem even if “pressure on the policy is continuing to mount”.
Another Swiss journal, SonntagsBlick, focuses on increased life expectancy and the major importance attached to regenerative medicine in research. Joe Jimenez, Director of Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company created in 1996, commented that: “We are living incredibly longer. We are carrying out research on how to regenerate muscles, cartilage, hearing capacity and sight”.
Le Temps (Lise Bailat) 04/12/2016