Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zurich voters reject proposed bans on assisted suicide, opt to continue making money from "death tourism"

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

all they that hate me love death. Proverbs 8:36b

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. I Corinthians 15:26

As reported by Zach Zagger in The Jurist, May 15, 2011 (links included in original article):

Voters in the Swiss city of Zurich on Sunday rejected proposed bans on assisted suicide for foreigners seeking an end to their lives. The ban was aimed at stopping a phenomenon known as "death tourism" or "suicide tourism" where people travel to Switzerland from abroad to take advantage of its legal assisted suicide. Voters rejected two referenda: one to ban assisted suicide, and the other to limit it only to residents of Zurich. The city had become a popular destination for travelers from countries where assisted suicide remains illegal, including from the neighboring countries of Germany and France. The local organization Dignitas has helped more than 1,000 people take their own lives. Two conservative parties, the Evangelical People's Party and the Federal Democratic Union supported a one-year residency requirement in Zurich before being allowed to use assisted suicide services. Still, the major left and right parties urged voters to strike both referenda. Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1941 and permits a non physician with no vested interest in death to provide passive assistance such as providing the necessary drugs.

Last year, Switzerland's Federal Council and Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) introduced legislation to establish stricter rules on assisted suicide after a consultation with local governments, government agencies and other organizations found that 75 percent of respondents favored such a bill. In 2007, the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that people with serious mental illnesses may be permitted to commit physician assisted suicide under certain conditions.

The perceptive reader will note that the Evangelical People's Party supported a one-year residency requirement, but didn't favour the proposed bans on assisted suicide, which indicates that the word "evangelical" means about as much in Switzerland as it does anywhere else. I find it very interesting--and very suspicious--that assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1941, when Nazi Germany's euthanasia program was well under way--just before the genocide of the Jews got into full swing.

1941 was the year that the pro-euthanasia movie Ich Klage An (I Accuse) was released in Germany. According to Ich Klage An's director, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, "The film's purpose was to test whether public opinion would approve of a law sanctioning death on demand within certain medical and legal safeguards. The test proved negative, the law was never passed..." (Erwin Leiser, Nazi Cinema, 1974, p. 150). I don't know if the film was released in Switzerland (it was shown in France, Sweden, Finland, and Greece), but I suspect it would have been regarded favourably there. For more details on Ich Klage An, see Nazi Cinema, pp. 90-94, 143-151.

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