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Death tourism remains a draw

A Swiss organisation assisted in the suicides of 135 foreign visitors in 2007.

This content was published on May 27, 2008 - 16:03

Just six Swiss citizens employed the services of Dignitas, the only Swiss organisation helping non-residents to die, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Director Ludwig Minelli told the French Le Monde newspaper that half of those who died under its care were German, followed by English and French patients.

Minelli said that for every 100 applicants, only 12 are given the go-ahead by Dignitas. The organisation oversaw 200 assisted suicides in 2006.

Swiss branches of a similar international organisation, Exit, carried out 245 assisted suicides by Swiss or foreign nationals living in Switzerland in 2007.

Swiss law tolerates assisted suicide when the patient commits the act and the helper has no direct interest.

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