Swiss assisted suicide rates increased by 30% in 2015

Xavier Symons
November 17, 2017
Reproduced with Permission

The rates of assisted suicide in Switzerland increased by 30% in 2015, bringing it close to eclipsing suicide as a cause of death.

965 Swiss residents (426 male and 539 female) died by assisted suicide in Switzerland in 2015, up from 742 deaths (320 male and 422 female) in 2014. Of the 965 deaths by assisted suicide, 822 were of individuals 65 years or older.

1071 swiss residents (792 men and 279 women) committed suicide in Switzerland in 2015, an increase of 43 deaths on 2014.

Importantly the statistics do not include those who have travelled from another country to end their life in Switzerland.

Felix Gutzwiller, emeritus professor of preventative medicine at the University of Zurich, said that the increase in deaths had to do with an ageing population, and with the negative social attitudes towards unassisted suicide. "It is the negative attitudes to suicide that drives up the number of assisted suicides," he told Tages-Anzeiger .