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Abstract

Since ancient Greece, societies have had notions of what constitutes “Euthanasia” (a good death), and if a human life should be ended prematurely to ease suffering and preserve dignity. The codification of a criminal code of law and the debate surrounding this process reveals how the discussion of assisted suicide developed in Switzerland. Discussions reveal private examples brought forth by actors in the legal debate, showing noteworthy trends regarding which individuals should be legally and morally allowed to participate in the practice. The discursive trend also reveals how the Swiss Government has repeatedly argued against federal and local regulation of the practice in their attempt to minimize its involvement, shifting authority over life and death onto private organizations. This paper aims to trace this discussion to show how the practice has developed and attempt to explain why it has developed into a highly unregulated and largely privately organized practice, attracting “tourists” from all over the world.

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