International Statistics

 
Last updated 3 December 2018 
 

There is an overwhelming trend to reject euthanasia and assisted suicide.

 

Assisted suicide and euthanasia bills have been defeated in at least 31 jurisdictions since 2015: the UK (2015), Scotland (2015), New South Wales (2017), Tasmania (2017), and 26 US state legislatures.

In recent years courts ruled to uphold assisted suicide and euthanasia prohibitions in New York (2017), the UK (2017),  South Africa (2016) and New Zealand (2015).

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal worldwide except in 7% of jurisdictions. Of the around 196 countries in the world and 50 US states, only 15 have legalised some form of ‘assisted dying’.

Only four jurisdictions have decriminalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide: The Netherlands (2002),  Luxembourg (2009), Canada (2016), and Victoria, Australia (2017, to come into effect in mid 2019).

Two jurisdictions have decriminalised only euthanasia: Belgium (2002) and Colombia (2015). 

Assisted suicide is legal in only nine jurisdictions: Switzerland (1942), Germany (2015) and the US states of Oregon (1997), Washington (2008), Vermont (2013), California (2015), Colorado (2016), Washington DC (2016) and Hawai’i (2018). However, Margaret Dore from “Choice” is an lllusion argues that under the Oregon and Washington laws it may be possible for someone else to be involved in the administration of lethal drugs.

Definitions

It is suicide when a person intentionally ends their own life without help, for example by accessing and swallowing a drug overdose on their own.

It is assisted suicide when a person intentionally ends their own life with help from at least one other person. The person who dies takes the final action that ends their life. The most common method involves other people making a drug overdose available for the person to swallow.  

It is euthanasia when someone else intentionally takes the final action that ends the person’s life. The most common method is by injecting lethal drugs. 

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