An independent commission that investigated the issue of assisted suicide (Euthanasia) calls to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who remained less than 12 months to live. The problem: politicians do not want to be perceived as supporting the killing of the old and weak.
The committee was created following many cases of patients that used the Swiss clinic services "Dignits" to end their lives. "Independent Committee to assist in death" is funded by novelist Terry Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and important historian Bernard Lewis.
The committee, headed by a former minister, studied this issue for ayear. It recommends that to allow "physician assisted euthanasia". The doctors will be allowed to prescribe lethal drugs for patients with terminal illness that remain less than 12 months to live. The patients must have a standardized mental capacity and they must express a desire to die. Patients need to take the medication themselves, and the entire process will be according to opinion of two doctors at least. Under the current law, the punishment for suicide assistance comes to 14 years in prison, but the rules were changed two years ago and since then there were no convictions on the subject. The Committee calls to cancel the current law against suicide assistance, calling it "inappropriate and unclear".
The members of the committee acknowledge that the regulations they offer may put pressure on vulnerable patients and make them feel they are a burden on society or their families. Therefore, they suggest not to apply the regulations on vulnerable populations such as disabled people, patients with depression or dementia.
Committee's recommendation will be discussed in Parliament and some members also called the government to discuss it. But so far politicians refrained from supporting the law, fearing to look as if they are seeking to reduce the number of elderly and sick people due to budget cuts.