Should doctors be allowed to help people commit suicide?
Citizens in Zurich, Switzerland, think so after rejecting a referendum to impose tighter control on who's eligible to receive assisted suicide. In Switzerland, the practice entails providing life-ending drugs such as barbiturates to individuals who want to take their own lives.
But before dredging up thoughts of Jack Kevorkian‘s physician-assisted suicide, it should be noted that only patients - not doctors - are allowed to administer the life-ending doses in the country. In Zurich, 200 people perform the act each year, according to Reuters.
Over the last decade, the country has attracted "suicide tourism," consisting of people who seek assisted suicide in Switzerland because the practice is illegal in their countries. The Swiss referendum sought to limit assisted suicide services to only people who lived in Zurich for a minimum of one year in efforts to discourage foreigners from booking one-way trips to the city.
Even though the referendum did not pass, Swiss officials want to establish clear rules about who can commit assisted suicide, favoring people with terminal illnesses over people wanting to kill themselves without medical motivations.