Membership Rising In Swiss Assisted Suicide Group Exit

Michael Cook

In 2017, 10,078 people joined the Swiss euthanasia organisation Exit and the number of assisted suicides rose slightly. The organisation says that increased interest is due to the ageing population.

At the end of December 2017, the organisation had 110,391 members in German-speaking Switzerland and in Ticino, Only Swiss citizens are eligible for Exit’s services. Its rival, Dignitas, also accepts foreigners. Last year, 734 people ended their lives using Exit’s services, compared with 723 the previous year. Although men are generally much more likely to commit suicide, the majority of people using Exit are women (60%).

As in previous years, the most common underlying illnesses – according to Exit -- for which people sought its help were terminal cancer, age-related multiple illnesses and chronic pain. This is at odds with reports from Oregon and elsewhere that the most frequently reported end-of-life concerns are decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, loss of autonomy, and loss of dignity.

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