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Swiss to tighten controls on assisted suicide

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Swiss to tighten controls on assisted suicide

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The Swiss government is to change the law on assisted suicide to ensure it is only used as a last resort by the terminally ill.

A rise in the number of foreigners seeking to end their lives in Switzerland and a study showing an increasing number of people not terminally ill are arranging assisted suicides have provoked heated debate in the country. Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said her country rejected being a destination for death tourism: “ Our liberal attitude and our guidelines have produced undesirable developments. We don’t want a total ban but we want stricter controls.” More than 100 Britons have used the Swiss centre Dignitas to kill themselves. The new proposals suggest patients should have two separate medical opinions proving they have only months to live. Although there’s nothing in Swiss law making assisted suicide legal it is widely held that helping a terminally ill person die is a humane act.