This week, the Swiss Medical Association (SMA) tightened restrictions on assisted suicide, reported RTS.
The new directives require greater involvement from doctors. At least two doctor-patient interviews must take place. In addition, patients must prove their suffering is unbearable. These procedures must also be well documented. The new guidelines effectively prevent healthy people from accessing assisted suicide.
There is no legal requirement to follow SMA directives. However, medical professionals must follow them to avoid professional sanctions. The latest directives replace those from 2018. The section on assisted suicide (6.2.1) is set out in this PDF on page 22.
Assisted suicide associations have responded with disbelief. Organisations such as Dignitas, Life Circle and Exit are firmly opposed to the changes. According to them the new directives represent serious obstacles to assisted suicide. Jean-Jacques Bise, co-head of Exit in French-speaking Switzerland, thinks the new rules will be difficult to apply. He also thinks it’s unrealistic to have two interviews with a doctor due to the urgency of some requests.