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SwissFlag1The Swiss government is considering altering its position on assisted suicide due to an influx of so-called ‘death tourism.’ The Swiss cabinet is currently considering two different proposals on the issue—one for tighter regulation and one for an outright ban of the procedure which has been legal since 1940.

Swiss authorities are concerned both with increasing numbers of foreigners coming to Switzerland to die and also mounting evidence that more and more patients seeking assisted suicide are not terminally ill. Apparently, around 400 assisted suicides are reported every year, 132 of which are performed on foreigners.

The Swiss government is anxious to ensure that assisted suicide is the very last option for patients and the country as a whole gives human life the highest value. “Suicide must only be a last resort,” said the Swiss justice prime ministry. “The government believes that protection of human life must be uppermost.”

Now the government must figure out if it can promote the sanctity of life while maintaining a procedure the directly undermines it. The two proposals are open for public comment until March 1, at which point they will be sent to parliament for drafting.

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