The swiss authorities are growing extremely keen to shut down their burgeoning 'suicide tourism' trade. They have even signalled a desire to shut down clinics like Dignitas and Exit International if they do not bow to stricter regulation. The criticism of these clinics has been that they have been gradually widening their criteria. The new Swiss guidelines wouldÂ require would be suicides to produce two independent medical opinions.
These must state that the patient is of sound mind and fully aware of the decision they are making, that the condition is incurable and death is expected within months.
The aim is to slow down the whole suicide process and prevent people coming across the border for just a few days before the event. This will make Switzerland a much more expensive, time consuming and therefore less attractive option.
This is a welcome move. It will bring the whole process in Switzerland under control. It will also hopefully force the rest of us to start serious a serious debate on how we handle this delicate matter, without leaving it to the Swiss to sort out. In the meantime, before these new laws are brought in, Switzerland may find they are temporarily swamped with 'suicide tourists'.