10 April 2018

Switzerland is known worldwide for its banks, watches, chocolates – and assisted suicides. A pioneer in this domain, it has been followed by Belgium, Canada, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and several American and Australian states, which help shape new approaches to medical aid in dying. In an interview (French only) published on 10 April 2018 by 24 Heures Suisse, 2016 Foundation scholar Samuel Blouin examined assisted dying in Switzerland as well as its potential applications to minors and in cases where mental health is at play. In his opinion, the international debate that has emerged on medical aid in dying reflects how difficult it can be for social practices and policies to reconcile different perceptions of the end of life. Later in the week, in an interview (French only) for Swiss radio RTS's "La Matinale" on 13 April 2018, Blouin further explored the differences between assisted suicide and medical aid in dying in Switzerland and Quebec respectively, as well as the more or less medicalizing public policies these terms reflect.

Blouin co-organized the HESAV symposium on assisted dying in Europe and North America from 9 to 13 April 2018 (text and information in French only). 2015 Foundation fellow and symposium attendee Jocelyn Downie will produce a joint publication with Blouin and the conference’s co-organizers.

Samuel Blouin is a 2016 Foundation scholar and a doctoral candidate in sociology and religious science at Université de Montréal and Université de Lausanne. Read his interview with 24 Heures Suisse here and listen to his interview with RTS here.

Jocelyn Downie is a 2015 Foundation fellow and a professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University.

Samuel Blouin

Samuel Blouin (sociology and religious studies, Université de Montréal and Université de Lausanne): Drawing on field research, Samuel is analyzing how two approaches to assisted dying – Quebec’s and Vaud, Switzerland’s – are testing boundaries in medicine, law, and life itself.

2016 Scholars

Jocelyn Downie

Professor Jocelyn Downie is an expert on the protection of human participants in research, end of life law and policy, and the protection and promotion of women’s health.

2015 Fellows