In Switzerland, an assisted suicide group called Exit says that its membership reached a record high last year after a 20% surge in requests to join. In 2013, the assisted suicide group had 67,602 people and now they boast of 81,015.
Apparently the organization “helped” 583 people die in 2014 and according to Reuters, the organization attributed the rise to an aging population, rising numbers of patients suffering from dementia, and a greater desire among people to determine the course of their lives.
Additionally, the group said that their popularity increased because of media coverage of a vote by members last year to extend its “services” to elderly people who are not terminally ill, such as those suffering from psychological or physical problems.
Thankfully, Dr Jürg Schlup, the President of the Swiss Medical Association denounced the decision to extend assisted suicide to healthy elderly people. He said, “We do not support the change of statutes by Exit. It gives us cause for concern because it cannot be ruled out that elderly healthy people could come under pressure of taking their own life”
Unbelievably, a recent study found that in 16% of assisted suicide deaths in Switzerland are of people that have no underlying illness.
As LifeNews previously reported, assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1941 and is usually performed by a non-physician who supposedly has no direct interest in the death. Currently, euthanasia and assisted suicide is legal only in Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the U.S. state of Oregon. However, in Holland last year 650 babies died under their assisted suicide law because their parents or doctors deemed their suffering too difficult to bear.
Thankfully, according to Breitbart News, these statistics have caused some supporters of the legislation to question their reasoning. Dutch Ethicist, Theo Boer, used to believe that “slippery slope” arguments were invalid and argued in support of assisted suicide legislation; but now he has a very different view.
He said, “I used to be a supporter of legislation. But now, with twelve years of experience, I take a different view. At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.”
In Holland, mentally ill patients are dying as well. In 2013, 42 psychiatric patients died through euthanasia, which is three times as many that died in 2012. Some of these patients chose to end their own lives but for others, their family members made the choice.
In the National Review, Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism said we should “stop pretending assisted suicide is about terminal illness and admit it is much more about disability–which is why the disability rights movement remains so opposed as they are the primary targets. It is about allowing killing as an acceptable answer to many causes of suffering, whether terminal or chronic disease, disability, mental illness, or existential despair.”
Here’s the unavoidable problem with assisted suicide legislation: today, we’re legally killing the terminally ill and the sick but assisted suicide laws won’t stop there, instead they will open Pandora’s box to all sorts of “justifiable” killing.