NEW TREND – EUTHANASIA TOURISM

Nils Kraus - Aug 5, 2008
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Euthanasia has always been a moral issue. Countries all over the world have groups pro and against the procedure of assisted suicide. In the majority of world’s countries it is not legal. This leads some people to travel abroad to seek solution for their problems.

 

In Mexico for example, such a tourist may buy a drug known as liquid pentobarbital. This drug is used to euthanize pets and is available in Mexican pet shops. The drug, however, may be used by humans as well. The tourists who do not understand Spanish overcome this obstacle by using combination of photos and sketched maps. Stores with the drug can be found near US border and a bottle of the liquid costs about $35.

 

Because euthanasia is banned in most parts of the world and the drug is easy to acquire, this kind of suicide has been nicknamed the “Mexico option.” It is expected that the “Mexico option” will cause a boom in euthanasia tourism. Of course, it is questionable whether Mexico wants this kind of popularity. The “Mexico option” has naturally caused outrage from local anti-euthanasia and religious groups.

 

Mexico is not the only euthanasia tourism destination. Switzerland for instance has laws that allow assisted suicide. There is growing number of foreigners coming to this European country to end their lives. According to recent numbers, 85 per cent of people who commit the assisted suicide in the pro-euthanasia group Dignitas centre are foreigners. Majority of them are British, German and French. Some officials want to stop this practice. According to Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, it gives Switzerland a bad name. She wants to change it by slowing down the practice. Swiss parliament, however, seems unlikely to ban assisted suicides altogether.

 

Strong cultural differences as well as moral reasons will most likely prevent majority of world’s nations to make euthanasia illegal, which could boost the so called euthanasia tourism to countries that allow this practice.

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