Swiss Crack Down on 'Suicide Tourism'

Assisted suicides to be restricted to the terminally ill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2009 3:55 AM CDT
This photo shows a house in Pfaeffikon near Zurich, Switzerland, where the medically assisted suicide organization Dignitas operates.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Steffen Schmidt)
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(Newser) – Swiss authorities are trying to cut back on the numbers of people swarming its borders with the intention of dying. The government plans to cut back or even ban assisted suicide amid concerns that too many people—some of them not suffering terminal illnesses—are traveling to Switzerland for assisted suicides, reports the BBC. There were 400 cases of assisted suicide in the country last year, including 132 foreigners.

"We have no interest, as a country, in being attractive for suicide tourism," Switzerland's justice minister said, announcing plans to restrict assisted suicide to the terminally ill instead of people suffering from depression or chronic illnesses. She warned that organizations involved in assisted suicides were "testing the boundaries of the law." The new restrictions would "prevent organized assisted suicide becoming a profit-driven business," she said.