Broad support for Swiss 'death tourism'

VOTERS in the Swiss region of Zurich, which has become known as a hub for ‘death tourism’, have overwhelmingly rejected moves to ban assisted suicide or restrict it to local residents only.

A motion brought by the conservative Federal Democratic Union party sought to impose a one-year local residency requirement for those who resort to legally sanctioned assisted suicide.

This was rejected by 78% of Zurich voters last week, while a second motion calling for a national ban on assisted suicide was rejected by 84.5%.

About 1000 foreigners are thought to have travelled to Zurich to have an assisted suicide under relatively permissive Swiss laws.

People can be supplied a lethal dose of a drug, however it remains illegal for a doctor to administer, or assist a patient to take, such a dose.