The suicide tourist trap

July 31, 2009
The suicide tourist trap

The international media report that citizens from across the world are travelling, or seeking to travel, to Switzerland, where they hope to be helped to die. But this 'suicide tourism' presents distinctive ethical, legal and practical challenges.

In a paper published online in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Dr Richard Huxtable from the University of Bristol explores three issues associated with this phenomenon:

• how to define 'suicide tourism' and 'assisted tourism'— where the suicidal individual is helped to travel to take up the option of assisted dying;

• the legality of assisted suicide tourism, particularly in the English legal system where there has been considerable recent activity;

• and the ethical dimensions of the practice.

He argues that the suicide tourist—and specifically any accomplice thereof -- risks springing a legal trap, but that there is good reason to prefer a more tolerant policy, premised on compromise and ethical pluralism.

Richard Huxtable is Deputy Director of the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol. His primary research is in the areas of end-of-life decision-making and surgical ethics, and he has published widely in medical, legal and bioethical journals, in addition to authoring the book Euthanasia, and the Law: From Conflict to Compromise (2007, Routledge-Cavendish).

More information: www.springerlink.com/content/t2206018626q8745/

Provided by University of Bristol (news : web)

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7 comments

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Soylent
5 / 5 (2) Jul 31, 2009
The only ethical dimension to this are the possible transgressions of its authority by the state in trying to prevent it.
stuclach
3 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2009
@Soylent - EXACTLY.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Jul 31, 2009
They're just displeased because everyone pays for the vacation on their credit card.
jsovine
5 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2009
They're just displeased because everyone pays for the vacation on their credit card.


Haha
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 31, 2009
If Obama care comes into effect, the Government will send sick and dying to Switzerland to be cured of life.
VOR
not rated yet Aug 02, 2009
omg freethinking is back with more wisdom. crawl back into your den of ignorance and stfu. better yet we'd all be glad to chip in for a one way ticket for you to Switzerland. Not to die, but to learn that there are some countries less ignorant than ours that take better care of themselves and have happier people with higher standards of living.
Velanarris
not rated yet Aug 02, 2009
omg freethinking is back with more wisdom. crawl back into your den of ignorance and stfu. better yet we'd all be glad to chip in for a one way ticket for you to Switzerland. Not to die, but to learn that there are some countries less ignorant than ours that take better care of themselves and have happier people with higher standards of living.


Which would be why Switzerland has always had a per capita suicide rate that is 4000 times greater than the global average, and that was before it was legal.

I'm assuming you've read the healthcare bill, all 1200 pages of it. Tell me, what will a single person in the 20's be entitled to if they come down with Pancreatic cancer?

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