Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

The number of sick people going to Switzerland to commit suicide has been doubled in four years.

611 foreigners went to Zurich between 2008 and 2012 to end their lives.

As published Elena G. Sevillano the 20th of August in the newspaper “El País”, suicide tourism or Euthanasia tourism is growing in Switzerland, the only place where this phenomenon occurs. According to some researchers in the University of Zurich, between 2009 and 2012, the number of foreigners that travelled to that country to end with their lives was doubled: from 86 cases, to 172. This research, which has been published in the “Journal of Medical Ethics”, collects data of assisted suicides reported in the canton of Zurich – where organisations with these purposed are based- during 5 years. Between 2008 and 2012, more than 600 people (611 exactly) travelled to Switzerland to end their lives.

Researchers wanted to study this “unique phenomenon” and obtain an accurate X-ray about the origin of those people, their age and sex, which health problems made them take that decision and the way in which they did it, as explains Julian Mausbach, one of the signatories. In Switzerland, where the assisted suicide is not clearly regulated by the law, there are 6 organizations that help people willing to die. Four of them allow foreigners to use their services. The 611 cases studied, came from 31 countries, but almost 2/3 where natives from Germany (268), The United Kingdom (126), and France (66).  Aged between 23 and 97 (with an average of 69). The illnesses they suffered from were neurological (47%), cancer (37%), rheumatic and heart diseases. The 58,5% were women.

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Many people agree that it should not be an option, but I would like to point out that there are two types of Euthanasia:

  • Active or positive Euthanasia. This one consists of killing a person to prevent him from suffering or living in an unworthy way.
  • Passive or negative Euthanasia. This is the act of depriving a patient (usually in a terminal state) of those medical means that could prolong his life unnecessarily.

I personally think that in both cases it should be applied, since in the case of the passive Euthanasia, the patients have no cure and they could be treating and saving other patients’ lives. Regarding the active one, I share it as well, if it is the patient himself the one who decides to end his life to stop with the pain and agony. It should be allowed since, as it is shown in the Court constitutional C-239 of 1997, M.P.

“La vida es un derecho al que el individuo puede renunciar, cuando las circunstancias que la rodean no la hacen deseable ni digna de vivir, verbigracia, cuando los intensos sufrimientos físicos que la persona padece no tienen posibilidades reales de alivio, o cuando sus condiciones de existencia son tan precarias, que lo pueden llevar a ver en la muerte una opción preferible a la sobrevivencia”.Carlos Galviria Díaz

References:

-Agencias (4 January, 2015). Las 10 profesiones con mayor tasa de suicidio. Retrieved the 7 January from: http://www.zocalo.com.mx/seccion/articulo/las-10-profesiones-con-mayor-tasa-de-suicidio-1421247067

– Joaquin Rabago (5 January 2015) Lento suicidio. Retrieved the 7 January from: http://www.farodevigo.es/opinion/2015/01/14/lento-suicidio/1164720.html

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