All Old People Can Now Get Help Dying in Switzerland

Option usually reserved for terminally ill
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2014 9:30 AM CDT
All Old People Can Now Get Help Dying in Switzerland

Being old is now an acceptable justification for assisted suicide in Switzerland. At its annual meeting this weekend, the group Exit said that it would now help the elderly die even if they aren't terminally ill, the Guardian reports. While technically anyone in Switzerland—even the young and healthy—can seek help dying, the groups doing the helping all have restrictions, and until now those restrictions have limited the service to the dying.

The Swiss Medical Association has come out against the move, because it worries that "elderly healthy people could come under pressure of taking their own life," the group's president tells the Telegraph. But Exit says that most patients who might fall under the category have been considering suicide for some time. The move will also eliminate the need for some of the exhaustive medical checks normally required, one VP explains. "Old patients feel they do not have the energy for all of this and it is also not so dignified." (Read more Switzerland stories.)

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