Assessment of requests for assisted suicide by a Swiss right-to-die society

Death Stud. 2008;32(7):646-57. doi: 10.1080/07481180802215692.


Non-physician volunteers of Exit, the largest right-to-die organization in Switzerland, play an important role in assisted suicide. They conduct assessments and deliver lethal medications for a member to self-administer. This study analyses the content of 114 intake sheets (checklists) of Exit members whose requests for assisted suicide were granted in an effort to examine the frequency of depression and whether their relatives agreed with the member's decision to commit suicide (2 questions that can help increase the likelihood that the member's decision was both informed and voluntary). Exit's paperwork indicated that depression was found to exist in 27% of the cases, was more common among those under 65, and relatives explicitly disagreed with the member's decision in 5% of the cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Depression*
  • Euthanasia, Active, Voluntary*
  • Humans
  • Professional Competence*
  • Right to Die*
  • Societies*
  • Suicide, Assisted*
  • Switzerland