Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3) (2009)
|Abstract||Amongst the latest, and ever-changing, pathways of death and dying, “suicide tourism” presents distinctive ethical, legal and practical challenges. The international media report that citizens from across the world are travelling or seeking to travel to Switzerland, where they hope to be helped to die. In this paper I aim to explore three issues associated with this phenomenon: how to define “suicide tourism” and “assisted suicide tourism”, in which the suicidal individual is helped to travel to take up the option of assisted dying; the (il)legality of assisted suicide tourism, particularly in the English legal system where there has been considerable recent activity; and the ethical dimensions of the practice. I will suggest that the suicide tourist—and specifically any accomplice thereof—risks springing a legal trap, but that there is good reason to prefer a more tolerant policy, premised on compromise and ethical pluralism.|
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