Euthanasia for Swiss prison inmates?

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Inmates in Swiss prisons should have the same rights as free people. Cantons therefore agree to put euthanasia in the prisons. Many questions remain unanswered, but the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors (KKJPD) has agreed that it should be possible.

Since autumn 2018, Swiss law enforcement agencies have been dealing with the question of how euthanasia should be regulated in prisons. The reason and catalyst for the discussion was the Case of a 69-year-old sex offenderwho had registered with “Exit”. “Exit” is a Swiss euthanasia organization that is actively committed to euthanasia and also provides suicide support.

For the first time, the cantons had commented on the question of whether euthanasia and suicide support in prisons can be a service. The Swiss news portal “watson” spoke about this to the Deputy Secretary General of the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors (KKJPD), Alain Hofer. This confirms “watson”:

“There is general agreement that euthanasia should also be possible for people in prisons.”

The reason why persons who are in prison are also entitled to suicide assistance is given in the basic paper of the KKJPD. It states that inmates have the same rights and obligations as people who live freely. Accordingly, the assessment of the application will be assessed in the same way as for non-detained persons. In addition, the detained offenders are getting older on average and the sentences are longer. Because of the increasing age on average, prisons would have to prepare better for prisoner deaths. This is linked to a uniform regulation of euthanasia, writes “watson”.

Prerequisites for suicide accompaniment

On the website of the euthanasia organization “Exit” are the requirements that must be met if you want to apply for suicide support. Above all, people with hopeless forecasts, unbearable complaints or unreasonable disabilities are included in the program. For people with mental health problems, several additional exams are required and the organization itself also writes that it rarely helps them. However, the most important thing here is human judgment. Further prerequisites for the accompaniment until suicide are the well-behaved attitude, the constancy of the wish to die and the independent decision. In addition, the suicide had to be carried out by hand (this means turning up the infusion independently).
According to the legal situation, the so-called assisted euthanasia does not pose a problem under criminal law. As long as the companion does not pursue selfish motives in the suicide of the patient, this is a legal act.

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