The number of assisted suicides in Switzerland has steadily increased since the late 1990s. They now represent about five of every 1,000 deaths.
Assisted suicide -- and, in the case of Belguim and the Netherlands, euthanasia -- has continued on an upward swing in Europe. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells OneNewsNow that in Switzerland, in particular, there are very few controls on assisted-suicide deaths because they are done by two major suicide "clubs."
"There's Dignitas, which is involved with foreign assisted suicides, meaning people from around the world go to the Dignitas clinic and die by assisted suicide," he explains. "And then there's the other group called Exit, which primarily focuses on Swiss citizens and provides deaths for people on demand."
He believes the reported figures are accurate and reflect the growing "culture of death" as well as people from foreign countries spiking the numbers.
Schadenberg believes the figures will continue an upward trend because there are not a lot of rules in Switzerland.
"The more acceptance we see in a society for euthanasia or assisted suicide, the more people will do it -- and that's what's going on in Switzerland," he laments. "... This is being promoted as nothing more than an act of freedom. It's not being regulated by the medical community because, in fact, it's not done by the medical community" but by the suicide clubs.
The only thing that will reverse the increase in numbers, says Schadenberg, is to deal effectively with the culture of death.