Unlike most of the (relatively few) countries which permit assisted suicide in their laws, Switzerland does not disallow this practice from non-residents either formally (like in Oregon, USA) or substantially (like in the Netherlands). Hence, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of people travelling to Switzerland from all over the world to receive aid in dying.
One would have thought that like in abortion tourism, assisted suicide tourism would have put much pressure on the public and politicians to change the law and legalize assisted suicide in countries of origin. Despite a very long process of political debate taken place recently in Germany, France and the UK - the countries from which most people travel to Switzerland - in the hope (or with the attempt) to change the law, the legal position and public policy with regard to assisted suicide has not changed (the UK) or even shifted to other or opposite directions, such as in France and Germany. Reviewing these processes and the attitudes pertaining to them reveals that assisted suicide tourism played a minimal role.
The talk will present and discuss the major findings which came out with regard to such a legal phenomenon from many interviews conducted in Germany, France and the UK in the past year with prominent policy makers, heads of assisted dying agencies, leading physicians, activists, scholars and key players in this field. It will introduce the role that assisted suicide tourism played, if at all, in each of the legal and political procedures and will then discuss the question of why assisted suicide tourism has not contributed to liberalizing laws on assisted suicide in these countries. Reflecting on this question could be beneficial especially as discussions of these revised laws or continued status-quo are still ongoing.