Suicide tourism in Switzerland is growing, as it is the only country in the world that has virtually no rules or regulation around assisted suicide. A Swiss organization dedicated to helping people leave this Earth to stop their suffering with assisted suicide has helped people from 31 countries to die, according to MSN News on Aug. 22.
Switzerland has become a euphemism for suicide, much like how people say, “he bought the farm” meaning someone has died, “going to Switzerland” is a subtle way of saying suicide. Out of the 611 people who were assisted with their suicide between the years of 2008 and 2012 in Switzerland, all but four people went to Dignitas, the agency that is dedicated to assisted suicides.
As of today, Switzerland has seen 1,100 people choosing to end their lives with assisted suicide come into the country to do so. CNN News reports today that the assisted suicide in Switzerland has almost doubled since 2009. People have come from 31 countries and that does include the U.S., reports MSN.
The Swiss are suspicious of Dignitas profit margins and the founder’s “zeal for death.” This still wasn’t enough for voters to back numerous propositions that would limit the country’s liberal assisted suicide policy. The people in Switzerland registered their feelings about assisted suicide when they turned down propositions to have a stricter policy. They indicated they want to keep the policy liberal like it is today by rejecting various propositions over the years.
Digitas has assisted people from all over the world, as the founder, Ludwig Minelli, share’s his philosophy on assisted suicide saying: “I have always been convinced that the right to die is, in fact, the very last human right.”
Minelli, who is a man in his 80’s, also said that if he helps a woman who lives in Switzerland end her life because she is suffering from cancer, how can he say no to a woman in the exact same predicament, but who lives in a different country. He can’t, so that is why Digitas offers help to people from all over the world.
When Minelli released a video of an assisted suicide that he filmed back in 2008, it was met with “outrage” and “disgust,” reports MSN today. In the video, instead of using the lethal narcotic, that lets the patient just go to sleep and die, he used helium gas, which caused the outrage.
Dignitas is unique and there’s no other place in the world like it. While loved ones have been known to assist their terminally ill family members in the past with suicide, it is a deed not often mentioned. When asking a loved one to help, that puts them in a horrific spot and something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
Going to Dignitas for this service gives everyone what they want. The person dies, which ends their pain and there is no one left behind who will have to live with helping that loved one pass over to death.
For those who are determined to end their life with assistance, getting to Switzerland can offer a hardship especially if they are too sick to travel. For those who do make it to Dignitas and who fit their criteria for an assisted suicide, it seems to be the peaceful way to go and to end the pain.
As far as Switzerland becoming a euphemism for suicide, that could be the case in the future as more and more people make their final trek to Dignitas.