Swiss re­port steady rise in as­sisted sui­cides

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

GENEVA | The num­ber of as­sisted sui­cides in Switzer­land has in­creased steadily since the late 1990s and now makes up about five of ev­ery 1,000 deaths.

The first of­fi­cial fig­ures com­piled by Swiss au­thor­i­ties show that cases of as­sisted sui­cide rose from 43 in 1998 to 300 in 2009.

The Fed­eral Sta­tis­ti­cal Of­fice says al­most 90 per­cent of cases in­volved peo­ple 55 or older.

More women than men seek as­sisted sui­cide.

As­sisted sui­cide has been le­gal in Switzer­land since the early 20th cen­tury, and sev­eral groups pro­vide coun­sel­ing and med­i­cal sup­port to those want­ing to kill them­selves.

The fig­ures re­leased Tues­day cover only as­sisted sui­cides by Swiss res­i­dents.

Groups such as Dig­ni­tas that pro­vide ser­vices to for­eign res­i­dents keep sep­a­rate records.

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