Worrying News from Switzerland

The Swiss Medical Association has released new guidelines for Swiss doctors which will make it more difficult for foreigners to obtain a VAD in Switzerland.

In a series of moves aimed at 'medicalising' a non-medical Criminal Code which allows anyone to help anyone else to die (as long as one's motives are altruistic), the Swiss Medical Association has placed new obligations on Swiss doctors.

These restrictions include:
  • 2 interviews with prospective VAD applicants, 2 weeks apart
  • No more VAD for 'healthy' people, regardless of age
  • Confirmation of Capacity & Autonomous wishes by independent 3rd party
How these new guidelines will be adhered to by the Swiss assisted suicide groups remains to be seen.

But given that all of the Swiss VAD groups use the drug Nembutal and given only doctors can prescribe Nembutal, it is difficult to imagine an alternate reality ... unless the non-drug option of Sarco can be introduced.

Sarco requires no drugs and, therefore no doctors. Watch this space.

Read Exit's detailed New Blog on the changed Swiss reality & follow the discussion the Peaceful Pill Online Forums
NL Times hands

Positive News from the Netherlands

The Dutch Council of State has finally released its report on the Completed Life Bill which aims to allow older (> 75 years), non-terminally people in the Netherlands access to voluntary euthanasia.

Currently before Parliament, this Bill is not without controversy, despite attracting wide spread support within the Dutch community.

The Bill aims to allow for a mentally competent to request euthanasia.

Other criteria include at least two months for consideration between the first tan final request, and it must be established that it is a voluntary and well-considered choice, as included in the bill.

Read the NL Times

NSW Becomes Final Oz State to Pass VAD Law

It is not before time that Australia's biggest state, New South Wales, has finally passed legislation to allow terminally ill people (with < 6 months to live) to ask for medical help to die.

At this stage it is difficult to know which state will have the best/ worst law in terms of equality of access.

The one thing that is clear is that Australia has taken an intensely conservative and restrictive approach, showing that they have learned little from the experience of countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, or even Canada which has relaxed some of its most stringent requirement (eg. around mental illness).

Of course a new law is better than no law at all.

But given that so many people in old age have a quality of life which is nothing short of miserable (due increasingly to the polypathologies of old age), there is little justification for their exclusion from this all important choice.

Exit's mission statement remains - a peaceful death is everybody's right, not just some medical privilege granted to those sick enough to qualify ...

Read The Guardian's reporting on the Exit Website

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