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The Swiss Cabinet is set to clarify whether the rules for Switzerland’s assisted suicide organisations need to be updated.
In particular, it will look at issues relating to the care, counselling and documentation that euthanasia groups provide people seeking to end their lives. It will also discuss whether groups should be permitted to help healthy people kill themselves.
On Wednesday, cabinet instructed the justice ministry and the Federal Police to prepare a report on the controversial issue by early 2009.
The relatively new practice of providing people with easily available helium to end their own lives rather than prescription sodium pentobarbital has raised questions over the likelihood of abuse.
Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf had earmarked the issue for discussion in April after celebrating 100 days in office.
The organisation Dignitas, Switzerland’s leading enabler of assisted suicide, said it welcomed cabinet’s move.
COMMENT by Derek Humphry: The helium method by which terminally or hopelessly ill people may bring their lives to a peaceful end has been in use in America since 2002, and is extensively described in my book ‘Final Exit’.
A bit surprising to see the Swiss describing it as ‘radical.’

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