Following the suicide of their brother who had contacted Geneva-based Exit for assistance, the two men who wanted to prevent him from ending his life, “are continuing their legal battle”.
“On 16 May (…), the Public Prosecutor ruled that there had been no failure on the part of Exit to give assistance”. On 29 May, the two brothers responded with an appeal against this non-involvement ruling, quoting the Exit Vice President. On 2 November, the latter had confirmed that he was “certain” that the man would end his own life “within the next few days”. “According to the brothers, Exit had failed to give assistance”. “The Public Prosecutor confirmed that Exit had not offered psychotherapeutic support to my clients’ brother,” explained François Membrez, the lawyer representing the two brothers.
The brothers also accused the doctor – an Exit committee member – “of fraud and securities’ forgery and the Exit Vice-President of being an accomplice”. Their brother had, in fact, been given a prescription for pentobarbital. The deceased did not use it but the medication, which is used for assisted suicides, can only be prescribed by a doctor: “Exit circumvents this requirement by including a retired physician on its committee who issues such prescriptions. This practitioner does not have the necessary authority and has not practised for a long time”.
As this case is continuing, during its public hearing in mid-June, Exit Suisse alémanique will discuss the option to extend assisted suicide to elderly individuals who, whilst being physically healthy, have lost the will to live.
The Court of Appeal will reach a decision over the next few weeks.
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