Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Controversial euthanasia policies to be reviewed

Cabinet is set to clarify whether the rules for Switzerland's assisted suicide organisations need to be updated.

In particular, it will look at issues relating to the care, counselling and documentation that euthanasia groups provide people seeking to end their lives. It will also discuss whether groups should be permitted to help healthy people kill themselves.

On Wednesday, cabinet instructed the justice ministry and the Federal Police to prepare a report on the controversial issue by early 2009.

The relatively new practice of providing people with easily available helium to end their own lives rather than prescription sodium pentobarbital has raised questions over the likelihood of abuse.

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf had earmarked the issue for discussion in April after celebrating 100 days in office.

The organisation Dignities, Switzerland’s leading enabler of assisted suicide, said it welcomed cabinet’s move.

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR