Suicide in Switzerland

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Trend of suicide deaths from 1960 to 2007 for Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

The nation of Switzerland has a high suicide rate compared to many other European countries such as Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. From the mid-'80s to the present day, the rate has gradually declined. For example, there were 14.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people in 2007, compared with 22 suicides in 1984.[1]

Assisted suicide has been legal since 1941 if performed by a non-physician without a vested interest in that individual's death. The law prohibits doctors, spouses, children, or other such related parties from directly participating in one's death. Many citizens from other countries cross over into Switzerland to end their lives. This controversial practice of "suicide tourism" is allowed by the Swiss government, and the access is supported by public opinion. The laws regarding assisted suicide are intended to restrict the practice as a last resort by terminally ill people.[2]

Many otherwise healthy individuals who suffer from curable or treatable problems such as depression end their lives, despite the fact that this is legally prohibited. Dignitas, a Swiss group that facilitates suicide, requires that patients provide specific doctor's proof and prognosis in writing specifying terminal illness.[3]


From the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, the suicide rate varied widely with no clear trend.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b OECD Health Data 2012 - Frequently Requested Data, downloadable spreadsheet. Accessed 12 September 2012.
  2. ^ Swiss voters reject ban on assisted suicide for foreigners, 15 May 2011, The Guardian. Accessed 12 September 2012.
  3. ^ Bojan Pancevski, Swiss suicide clinics 'helping depressives die', 3 June 2007, The Daily Telegraph. Accessed 12 September 2012.

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