Swiss carehomes allowed to refuse euthanasia on their premises


Central Europe


Photo Unsplash, Andreea Popa

Private nursing homes in the canton of Zürich do not have the duty to allow euthanasia to be carried out on their premises. The Cantonal Council decided so last week.

Only care homes that fall under the municipality's responsibility must adhere to the euthanasia regulation introduced in May. According to that bill, all elderly people must have access to euthanasia.

However, last Monday, the Cantonal Council made an exception for private nursing homes. It did so with only one vote difference, Zueritoday writes. If an inhabitant of such a care home wants to end his or her life, he or she will have to leave the home and get treatment elsewhere.

General practitioner Josef Widler was the one who pleaded for an exception in the regulation. He wanted the authorities to take religious members of the nursing home management into account. According to Widler, these people often reject euthanasia, ref.ch writes.


The euthanasia organisation Exit has responded disappointedly to the decision of the Cantonal Council. According to the organisation, it is a bad compromise.

Exit calls nursing homes to be transparent about whether they allow euthanasia on their premises. They should, for example, state on their websites what their stance is. "That is the only way current and future residents know what to expect. Not creating transparency is unfair."



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