Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is a form of euthanasia where someone assists another to commit suicide . Typically used in the sense of physician assisted suicide, where a doctor equips a patient with (a prescription for) one lethal dose of medication that the patient takes. Assisted suicide is permitted in Switzerland, a few states in the US as well as in the Netherlands , Belgium and Luxembourg where the euthanasia is allowed.


In Switzerland it has since 1942 [1] has been the center of race to help another person to take his life, if this is done out of altruistic motives. [2]

It is created voluntary, non-profit organizations with non-medical staff that assists people seeking help to suicide. These organizations have a membership of over 100 000. [3] The suicide is usually conducted using medications prescribed by a physician, and most needing such assistance must therefore undergo a consultation with the doctor who will prescribe the drug. There exists an organization (Exit) primarily aimed at Swiss nationals, while the Zurich-based organization Dignitas greatly assists foreigners (hence the term “euthanasia tourism”). [4]

In 2011 facilitated Exit and Dignitas total 560 suicide. [2] [4]

The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences gave guidelines on how doctors should deal with requests for assisted suicide from people with incurable illness in 2004. [5]

In 2012 the population of the canton of Vaud through a referendum that doctors in health care facilities and nursing homes is obliged to accept a person’s desire for help to die if the person suffering from an incurable illness or injury and is mentally sane. The bill was supported by various organizations for medical healthcare in the canton, while Exit opposed the amendment because they believed the proposal gave institution doctors too much power to define who were sick enough to qualify for assisted suicide. [6]

In the German-speaking part of Switzerland agree about half of nursing institutions that assisted suicide is carried out in the institution itself. [6]

Oregon model

In the American states Oregon and Washington allowed physician-assisted suicide based on the so-called “Oregon model”, a law that was passed by referendum in Oregon in 1997. [7] In Montana ruled the state Supreme Court in 2009 that assisted suicide for mentally competent terminally ill people was not a criminal offense [8] in Vermont adopted politicians in 2013 to allow assisted suicide. [9] Oregon model grants impunity to doctors who prescribe lethal drugs to patients who meet the criteria in the Act. The criteria are as follows: [10]

  1. Patients should be 18 years or older and a resident of the state of Oregon
  2. The patient should have life expectancy shorter than six months
  3. Patients should be consent-competent (not having severe dementia or mental illness)
  4. Patients should have expressed the desire to help suicide at least twice orally at least 15 days, and must also have provided a written request for this
  5. Patients should be evaluated by at least two doctors must agree that the patient fills the criteria specified above.

Oregon model does not allow euthanasia in terms of euthanasia (lethal injection).