News: Switzerland decides against regulating assisted suicide

The Swiss process of reviewing the legal regulation of assisted suicide has ended with a decision by the Federal Council not to regulate either organised assisted suicide or ‘suicide tourism’, as was originally proposed in 2009. The Federal Council reached the view that the practice of assisted suicide is already adequately regulated through the Penal Code, the Therapeutic Products Act, the Narcotics Act and professional rules. The Federal Council described continuing goals of suicide prevention and promotion of self-determination at the end of life including the choice of palliative care rather than assisted suicide:

the Federal Council wishes to continue to support the prevention of suicide, palliative care, and the care and treatment of people with terminal, life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The focus is on improving self-determination at the end of life. To this end, the public should be made aware of the alternatives to suicide.

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