Human Exceptionalism

Surprise, Surprise: Swiss Assisted Suicides Increasingly not Terminally Ill

Of course, anyone reading SHS and pondering this matter rationally, would realize that once assisted suicide/euthanasia consciousness becomes widely accepted, the categories of the terminated expand. And now, waddya know, a study of assisted suicide in Switzerland shows that an increasing number of the cases have been of people who are not terminally ill. From the story:

Researchers from the University of Zurich and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences said many elderly people who have sought assistance to end their lives in Switzerland suffered from chronic and other non-life-threatening conditions.

“Being tired of life and in very poor health are becoming more frequent reasons to seek help to commit suicide than in the past,” said Susanne Fischer, co-author of the review of assisted suicides in Zurich undertaken by two groups, Exit and Dignitas.

Those groups have sparked international controversy in past years alongside a rise in “death tourism” to Switzerland, which has some of the world’s most liberal assisted suicide rules.The study analysed details of 421 people who had assisted suicides between 2001 and 2004 in Zurich–274 with the help of Dignitas and 147 with Exit–and compared them to information about 149 suicides assisted by Exit from 1990 to 2000.

Among those who had assisted suicides with Dignitas, 79 percent had terminal illnesses such as cancer, and for Exit a smaller proportion–67 percent–were terminally ill. From 1990 to 2000, some 78 percent of those who ended their lives with the help of Exit had fatal conditions, it found.

Expect that trend to continue as the idea that ending life is an acceptable answer to human suffering digs deeper into the world’s moral bedrock.

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