Assisted suicide increasingly popular in Switzerland

Assisted suicide increasingly popular in Switzerland
Photo:LightHunter/Depositphotos
More people in Switzerland than ever before are turning to assisted suicide to end their lives, according to the latest statistics.
In 2015, 965 Swiss residents used assisted suicide services in Switzerland, according to the latest figures from the Swiss statistics office.
That’s up from 742 the year before and a remarkable rise on the year 2000 when only 86 people resorted to assisted suicide, said the Tages Anzeiger.
Women are more likely than men to seek assistance to die (539 against 426 in 2015). In contrast, far fewer women commit unassisted suicide (279 against 792 men in 2015).
The figures do not include people who come from abroad to commit suicide in Switzerland.
Speaking to the Tages Anzeiger, medical professor Felix Gutzwiller said the reason for the rise in assisted suicide was related to Switzerland’s aging population and elderly people’s increasing desire to take control over the end of their lives.
Assisted suicide organizations are now more accepted by the medical profession than they used to be, he said.
What’s more, today’s elderly have grown up knowing about assisted suicide organization Exit, which was founded in 1982, and the organization’s membership has doubled over the past ten years.
Understanding of euthanasia has increased in recent years, added Exit director Bernard Sutter.
Twenty years ago finding a doctor to issue a prescription for the deadly drug used by Exit was much more difficult than it is today, he said.
Exit offers its services only to Swiss residents who must be members of the organization. Currently, they must have an incurable illness, though the group is considering extending its service to elderly people in good health.
A second Swiss organization, Dignitas, also provides assisted suicide services to non-Swiss who live outside the country.
All ‘end-of-life’ workers are unpaid volunteers, since assisted suicide is only legal in Switzerland if the assistant does not benefit financially from the person’s death.
The figures on assisted suicide in 2015 came out of an analysis of all causes of death in that year by the Swiss statistics office.
The flu epidemic at the start of the year and the July heatwave contributed to a six per cent rise in the number of deaths compared to the previous year.
The rise meant life expectancy in Switzerland actually dipped slightly in 2015, something that hadn’t happened since 1990, however that rose again in 2016 when the number of deaths fell.
The principal causes of death in 2015 remained accident and suicide for young people under the age of 40, and cancer and cardiovascular problems for older people.
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1 reply

  1. A Muslims’s view:
    Committing Suicide Is Strictly Forbidden in Islam
    Author:
    Adil Salahi, Arab News
    Publication Date:
    Mon, 2004-06-21 03:00

    Q. It is said that suicide is forbidden in Islam and that the person who commits suicide is destined to go to hell. Suppose a person is suffering from a severe case of depression, or some other mental disease. Should such a person commit suicide, will he also go to hell?

    (Name and address withheld)

    A. One thing which people often do is to say that such and such a person will definitely go to heaven or to hell. This is something over which none other than God has any control. So to suggest that such a person goes here or there in the hereafter is an affront to God, because it precipitates His judgment.

    There are certain verses of the Qur’an and statements by the Prophet (peace be upon him) which tell us that those who perpetrate certain sins will be punished. But then it is up to God to determine what punishment fits every single case, because God judges us individually, on the basis of His perfect knowledge of our intentions and conditions.

    It is true that suicide is strictly forbidden, because it is an affront to God. It is like a person saying to God: “You have given me life and I am taking it away.” This is what is meant by the sacred Hadith in which God is quoted as saying of the one who commits suicide: “My servant has precipitated My will with regard to himself! Therefore, I am forbidding him entry into heaven.” But this Hadith applies to a person in full control of his faculties, suffering no overpowering adversity and having a reasonable life. If such a person commits suicide, then may be God will not allow him in heaven.

    A person who commits suicide as a result of a mental disorder like depression or some other severe form of anxiety is not in full control of his senses. We cannot say how God will judge such a person, but we trust to God’s justice, because He does not deal unfairly with anyone. We pray for the person concerned, and request God to forgive him. When a man committed suicide during the Prophet’s lifetime, the Prophet was distressed. He did not perform the janazah prayer for the deceased, but he ordered his companions to do it. When they did, they prayed for the man and requested God’s forgiveness for him. This shows that the Prophet did not exclude the possibility of his being forgiven by God. Source: http://www.arabnews.com/node/251387

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