You rarely read about worldwide activity on assisted suicide in news stories or reports. Several countries have legalized or are considering the legalization of assisted suicide. The Netherlands leads the way with extensive practice of assisted suicide, as well as infanticide and euthanasia.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide have long been legal in the Netherlands and is often practiced without the consent of the patient. Over 10,000 citizens now carry "Do Not Euthanize Me" cards in case they are admitted to a hospital unexpectedly.
Guidelines were recently adopted to allow the killing of infants with disabilities by lethal injection.
For extensive information on assisted suicide and euthanasia in the Netherlands, please click here.
The Canadian Hospice Association has withdrawn its opposition to assisted suicide, adopting a "neutral" stand. A strong effort to legalize assisted suicide may take place in 2009.
The Swiss group, Dignitas, assists suicides of people from Switzerland and other countries.
The Swiss Supreme Court recently issued a decision stating that chronically depressed and mentally ill people have a right to assisted suicide.
Assisted suicide is legal.
Efforts to legalize assisted suicide were defeated in the House of Lords in the spring of 2006. Debate continues, however. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is asking for permission to directly kill newborns with disabilities. The College cites factors such as whether the baby is wanted by the parents and whether euthanasia will assist parents in careers or having the ability to make a contribution to society. They also argue that euthanasia will cut down on the number of late-term abortions.
The Prime Minister of Spain is calling for assisted suicide to be legalized.
Notorious assisted suicide and euthanasia proponent, Philip Nitschke, conducts seminars teaching older people to make their own suicide pills. He also published a self-help suicide book, offers to help older people travel to Mexico to obtain lethal drugs, and was forced to shut down a website teaching people how to commit suicide. An increasing number of Australians fear being euthanized by medical staff.
There are no restrictions on assisting a person to die.
The country of Luxembourg legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in February of 2008.
Debate rages in Scotland where attempts are being made to legalize assisted suicide.