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There is no lawful medical assisted suicide in Sweden and Denmark, as some people seem to think, writes Derek Humphry.  It’s a common myth.

Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide, by doctors only under strict guidelines, is available to dying residents in the Netherlands and Belgium, and soon also to be in Luxembourg.  Foreigners cannot use this law.

Switzerland has approved assisted suicide (including foreigners) for some 70 years. Euthanasia (injection) is banned. It can be nondoctor help also in Switzerland.  Two groups, Dignitas and Ex International will consider very ill people. They have web sites.  Rarely will they help people with mental health problems.

The US state of Oregon has had physician-assisted suicide for its residents since l998.  Two doctors must agree in writing that the person is dying and not clinically depressed.  The adjoining state of Washington has recently passed a law similar to Oregon’s which will take effect in mid 2009.  Again, euthanasia is banned, and no help to die can be offered to persons with mental health problems.

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