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On May 14, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights held that the current assisted suicide law in Switzerland was insufficiently clear. Specifically, the failure to address whether a person who was not terminally ill could access the necessary drug violated Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The court would remove impediments to obtaining lethal prescriptions by insisting on clearer laws, though it did not go far enough by failing to recognize an affirmative right to assisted suicide. Before this decision was finalized, however, unexpected events in the case led the European Court of Human Rights’ Grand Chamber to render the 2013 decision inadmissible. Despite this development, the 2013 decision provides insight into how the court is likely to analyze the issue of assisted suicide in the future for individuals without a terminal diagnosis.


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8 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Comparative and Foreign Law

    • Health Law and Policy

    • Human Rights Law

    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College International and Comparative Law Review

  • Volume
    • 38

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • E. Supp. 17

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022