Intended for healthcare professionals


Assisted suicide and euthanasia in Switzerland

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 03 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:52

Authors' reply

  1. Samia A Hurst, postdoctoral fellow (,
  2. Alex Mauron, professor
  1. Department of Clinical Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1156, USA
  2. Unité de Recherche et d'Enseignement en Bioéthique, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland

    EDITOR—There is indeed concern that legalising assisted death without enhancing palliative services could result in low thresholds for giving up on palliative care.1 This has been central in the decision not to legalise euthanasia in Switzerland. Even with enhanced palliative services, however, the question of assisted death will remain. In the Swiss debate the importance of palliative care is recognised by all. Disagreements hinge on whether assisted suicide can be acceptable when palliative care fails to relieve suffering sufficiently to make life bearable in the patient's eyes, whether …

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