Switzerland: adoption on a legal outline for assisted suicide

Publié le : 22 June 2012

Until today, assisted suicide has been authorized in Switzerland but without any regulations in force.
On 17 June 2012, the Swiss canton of Vaud "overwhelmingly approved by a vote the setting up of a legal framework for assisted suicide in medical-social facilities".
Voters were required to choose between two projected bills: one coming from the EXIT Association and the other from the Government. With "more than 60% "yes" [and] participation of 43%, […] the Government projected bill won the day".
Accordingly, "assistance with suicide will be accepted both in subsidized facilities and public hospitals, on the sole condition, however, that a doctor verifies the capability of the person in terms of discernment, that the person suffers from an incurable illness and death alternatives such as palliative care have been discussed with him or her".    
Pierre-Yves Maillard, President of the Vaud State Council specifies: "we would not have come up spontaneously with a projected bill like this if there had not been an initiative [by EXIT]". He explains that "the law applies everywhere. In the event of refusal, there will be notice served followed by the application of penalties."
But "the enactment of the bill […] does not cover the matter of subsidized religious facilities". To Jacques Chollet, President of two Catholic medical facilities, "it cannot be considered normal in any way for the law to oblige us to act against our conscience".
 

Share this article

BIOETHICS PRESS SYNTHESIS