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Broadening scope for assistance in Switzerland

Monday, June 16, 2014

From GlobalPost.com: Swiss assisted suicide group Exit A.D.M.D., a group that provides assisted suicide in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, has expanded its services to help elderly patients who are sick but not terminally ill end their lives.
The group's larger sister organisation Exit DS, which operates in the German and Italian speaking parts of the country, is planning to follow suit in a few days.

"We are helping people who are sick and opt for quality of life over a quantity of time surviving with a poor quality of life," ADMD's president Sobel said, insisting the organisation's activities remained "well within Swiss law."

Exit A.D.M.D., which only assists in suicides for people who live in Switzerland, helped 155 people -- mainly terminally ill cancer patients -- end their lives last year. Exit DS helped 459 people end their lives in 2013.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights called on Switzerland to clarify the guidelines for assisted suicide after an octogenarian who wanted to end her life failed to convince doctors to assist her because she was not ill enough. Sobel said his group's decision to broaden the official scope of who to assist in dying had not been impacted by that case.

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