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Death Tourism: Travel with a purpose

Death Tourism

Planning to travel? Your motivation is likely going to fall into one of these boxes:

1. Visits to friends and family
2. Vacation
3. Business

What is missing from the list? People who travel to commit suicide.

What is it?

Death tourism (a specific type of medical tourism) is a system whereby non-terminally ill individuals travel to another locale and enlist the services of death clinics to help them end their lives. Subsets of “death tourism” include “suicide” and “assisted suicide and euthanasia.” With basic suicide, the patient ultimately takes his/her own life.

Sterbe tourismus is a German term that means journey of a person from the country where euthanasia and/or assistance in suicide is prohibited to the locale in which one or both of the procedures are, under certain conditions, permitted by law, which allows administration of these medical treatments to the person.

The American Medical Association defines physician assisted suicide (PAS) as “a physician facilitating a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act.” While a patient receives assistance from a physician – either in the form of medication, instruction, or advice – the key component is that the patient cannot do it alone.

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About the author

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief,

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