X-Message-Number: 11658
From: "Thomas Nord" <>
Subject: Termination update
Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 01:43:18 +0100

Why wait on a Saturday night with no lady (Anyone free out there? Send me a
mail) in the house and no newspaper today. So I started searching.
Isn't it a contradiction between these two about Switzerland? Not much of a
matter since the bottomline is what we asked for, so I sorted that out fast.
On to next issue whatever.........

"Euthanasia in Holland
VESS HELP - Netherlands
Holland (or more properly, the Netherlands) is the only country in the world
where euthanasia is openly practiced. It is not allowed by statute, but the
law accepts a standard defence from doctors that have adhered to official
guidelines. These hinge on voluntariness of the request and
unrelievable-ness of the suffering. It is not a condition that the patient
is terminally ill or that the suffering is physical.
In practice, citizens of other countries are not eligible for euthanasia in
the Netherlands."
"Other countries
Colombia is currenly the latest country to legalise voluntary euthanasia,
and the only one where the legislation seems to be standing. Colombia's
Constitutional Court in June 1997 reaffirmed its May ruling (in which 6
judges were in favour and three voted against) that allowed euthanasia for
terminally ill patients who request it. Congress still has power to regulate
the law, but not to object to it.
Reports show that euthanasia and assisted suicide is practiced illegally in
many countries. Russell Ogden reported case studies in Canada of assisted
suicides with buddies helping terminally ill AIDS patients. A British
Medical Journal Report showed that many UK doctors who had been faced with a
euthanasia has acceded to the request.
Some common fallacies
(Note: "Assisting" suicide in the sense of general provision of information
on how to commit suicide is probably not illegal anywhere - except in
France - especially if it is not directly and knowingly given to a person
about to commit suicide. "Assisting" in the sense of being present varies
from area to area in whether it is against the law.)

"Assisting" in the sense of directly providing the means (as does Dr
Kevorkian, or as provided by Oregon's Death With Dignity Act) is what is
generally so controversial:
Assisting suicide is not legal in Scotland. Suicide has never been a
criminal offence (unlike in England), but assisting a suicide would be
prosecuted under laws such as the law against culpable homicide.
There are no laws to allow assisted suicide in practice in Germany or
Switzerland, contrary to frequent claims. To see how cases are handled,
students may wish to refer to our quotations database.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not, and never have been, legal in the
"The Practice of Assisted Suicide in Switzerland
A Report by Professor Meinrad Schaer, MD, President of "EXIT', Society for
Human Dying, Switzerland
In my lecture given at the 11th World Conference of Right to Die Societies
in Melbourne (l996), I reported on the legality and practice of assisted
suicide in Switzerland. Today, I would like to present some practical case
reports illustrating the procedure.

While the USA struggles with controversy regarding the legality of assisted
suicide, the Swiss legal system has condoned the practice for sixty years.
In contrast to practices in Holland, Australia and the various US proposals
where assisted suicide is limited to physician-assisted suicide, Swiss law
permits and EXIT practices aid to the dying by lay persons.

Although Swiss law permits physicians and non-medical persons to assist
suicides, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, like many medical
organisations, including the American Medical Association, opposes doctors
helping patients to die. Swiss laws stipulate that persons who assist a
suicide do so for humane reasons with no chance of personal gain. EXIT
requires that the applicant be at least eighteen years old, a Swiss
resident, mentally competent and suffering from intolerable health problems.
He, or she, must personally apply for the service and convince EXIT that
there is no coercion or third party influence involved in the decision.

An EXIT physician considers the application and decides whether or not
assistance can be offered. In doubtful cases, a team composed of a lawyer,
psychiatrist and a physician will jointly make the decision.

The procedure of assisted suicide is as follows:

An EXIT team member provides an anti-emetic (two DramamineQ tablets) to the
patient and half an hour later, 10 g.of sodium pentobarbitone is given.
Within five minutes, the patient falls into a deep sleep and within two
hours, with few exceptions, will die peacefully. The team member stays with
the patient unfit death occurs and there is always a witness present,
usually a close relative.

Immediately after death has occurred, the police are informed and they
notify the appropriate officials, prosecution attorney, coroner,
criminologist et al. who visit the scene to establish whether or not laws
have been violated. Since EXIT was founded in 1982, no collaborator has ever
been prosecuted for his participation in assisted suicide."
Prof. Schaer's report issued by EXIT, Switzerland, and distributed by ERGO!
(Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization) Junction City, OR 
Meinrad Schaer -- bio:

A professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Z rich
for over 20 years, and former Vice-Director of the Swiss Federal Office of
Public Health. One of the founders of EXIT - the Swiss Association for Human
Dying - and its president for many years. Retired."

Thomas Nord
Stockholm (Sweden)

We can all die suddenly. Read:
 r livet f r kort? D den deprimerande? L s:

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