Prosecutors target Swiss euthanasia doctor again

Retired doctor Pierre Beck appearing at a court in Geneva in 2020. Keystone / Martial Trezzini

The former vice-president of Swiss euthanasia organisation Exit faces yet another potential court appearance to answer for providing lethal drugs to a woman.

This content was published on April 6, 2023

Geneva prosecutors will ask the appeals court to rule once again on the case of Pierre Beck following a string of other hearings.

+ Why a Japanese man came to Switzerland to die

Beck helped the healthy 86-year-old woman die alongside her ill husband in 2017 by providing a lethal dose of a sedative and preanesthetic pentobarbital.

The retired doctor was originally found guilty of breaking the Swiss Narcotics Act, but two subsequent court hearings cleared his name.

“The mere fact of a physician prescribing pentobarbital to a person in good health, capable of discernment and wishing to die, does not constitute behavior punishable by the law on narcotics,” read the court last court verdict issued in February.

But The Genevan public prosecutor’s office on Thursday said it has asked the Federal Supreme Court to take another look at the case.

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