Swiss group calls on British politicians to permit assisted suicide

Several hundred people from Britain had to travel abroad, notably to Switzerland, to end their lives. Keystone

The Swiss non-profit organisation, Dignitas, has appealed to lawmakers in Britain to lift a ban on assisted dying.

This content was published on May 2, 2018 minutes

The organisation says it is time for politicians to change their minds and accept a 2011 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

The ruling essentially acknowledged the right of individuals to die with dignity. This freedom has been denied nearly 400 times, according to DignitasExternal link.

It accused the politicians of ignoring the suffering of people who, often in deplorable health, have had to travel abroad – notably to Switzerland – to end their lives in dignity.

+ Learn more about assisted suicide’s place in Swiss society

“These politicians’ ignorance pushes people in despair to take matters into their own hands and try high-risk suicide attempts,” according to a statement published on Wednesday.

It has urged a legal amendment and called on voters not to re-elect politicians who oppose the proposal.

The statement coincides with a court case in LondonExternal link. A terminally ill man is challenging a ban on assisted dying.

Meanwhile, a 104-year-old Australian professor has made arrangements to end his life in Switzerland this spring with the Basel branch of Exit InternationalExternal link.

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