Doctor acquitted of murder in assisted suicide case of a clinically depressed woman

A doctor who was accused of murder after helping a patient to die was on Tuesday found not guilty by a court in Muttenz in the canton of Basel-Land.

However the doctor was convicted of violating drugs laws and received a 15-month suspended sentence and a 20,000 franc fine, reported news agencies

A psychological report submitted after the woman’s death stated that the patient suffered from serious depression which could have affected her willingness to die.

However, despite considering the report reliable, the court judges said the patient was nevertheless capable of knowing the consequences of her choice to die. She had correctly evaluated her quality of life and loss of autonomy, they said. Further medical treatment would only have eased her symptoms in the very best case scenario.

Assisted suicide was legalised in Switzerland in 1918, and the current law dating from 1942 makes assistance to suicide legal on the condition that the assisting party derive no substantial financial gain from it.

According to the law, anyone can benefit from suicide assistance if they meet certain conditions, including having a persistent wish to die, not acting on impulse, being capable of sound judgement and not being influenced by a third party…

Read the full story at The Local…

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