MCCL GO draws attention to Swiss assisted suicide concerns
GENEVA — The growing practice of assisted suicide in Switzerland is a threat to human rights, according to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO). MCCL GO Executive Director Scott Fischbach addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council today in Geneva. "Kenya has recommended that Switzerland prohibit assisted suicide in line with its commitment to the rights to life, health, and non-discrimination," Fischbach noted in his oral statement. "Switzerland has not accepted the recommendation, but it should." The Human Rights Council conducts a Universal Periodic Review of nations to determine whether they are upholding their human rights obligations. Today the Council discussed a report on its review of Switzerland. MCCL GO had earlier provided a written contribution to the review. Assisted suicides in Switzerland have consistently increased, Fischbach explained in his statement. Many people who are not terminally ill receive assisted suicide—including people with dementia, people with only mental illnesses like depression, and people who are "weary of life." Fischbach pointed out that the U.N. Human Rights Committee has expressed concern to Switzerland about "the lack of independent or judicial oversight" to ensure that patients dying from suicide are "operating with full free and informed consent." Moreover, a recipient of assisted suicide in Switzerland does not need to be a citizen. A study found that assisted suicides of foreign nationals in Switzerland were "increasing unabated." "Assisted suicide in Switzerland is simply out of control," Fischbach concluded.